Liverpool’s preparations for Wednesday’s meeting with Atletico Madrid have been handed a huge boost by the return to training of midfielder Fabinho.
The 28-year-old has missed Liverpool’s last three matches with a knee injury, with his last appearance coming in the 3-2 victory over Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano in October.
He could be in for another appearance against Diego Simeone’s side as Fabinho was spotted out in training ahead of the game, with photos showing the Brazilian moving without any extra support.
Fabinho’s return comes at a good time for Liverpool, who just lost Naby Keita to yet another injury during the 2-2 draw with Brighton at the weekend.
He now joins Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in contention for minutes, with Jurgen Klopp still coping without the injured trio of James Milner, Harvey Elliott and Thiago.
Atletico’s trip to Anfield comes 20 months after their infamous visit to Liverpool in the second leg of the 2019/20 round-of-16, in which 3,000 Spanish supporters came over to watch the game despite being banned from attending their own home games because of a spike in COVID-19 cases towards the start of the pandemic.
It was the final match played in front of fans in England before the country went into lockdown, and a government investigation later declared that the supporters should not have been allowed to attend the game, with 37 deaths in local hospitals linked to the match.
It’s obviously a bit of a unique atmosphere, and according to The Times, Atletico have struggled to convince their fans to make the trip, selling under 200 tickets to their supporters.
Concerns over new variants of the virus, as well as the UK’s testing protocol, have dissuaded thousands of Rojiblancos fans from buying tickets, with the vast majority of their 3,000 allocation still unsold.
Liverpool head into Wednesday’s game clear at the top of Group B, and a victory would guarantee them a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League.