Lijnders: Henderson may return vs Villa

Jordan Henderson will not be involved in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal on Thursday and is to be assessed ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa – with both matches live on Sky Sports.

The Reds captain has not featured since sustaining a knock in the 2-0 win at Chelsea on September 20, missing their 3-1 top-flight victory over the Gunners on Monday.

Another player who will not be involved on Thursday is fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara – who has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating – while Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kostas Tsimikas are also unavailable.

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Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders said ahead of the fourth-round cup tie at Anfield: “Jordan we will re-evaluate on Friday after this game to look if he is ready for Villa, at least to train with us.”

Tsimikas is sidelined having picked up a thigh issue in last week’s 7-2 third-round win at Lincoln.

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“We thought it would settle but it didn’t,” Lijnders added. “So he will need a few more days and the international break as well, so he will not be involved in both games.”

On Thiago, Lijnders said: “It shows again that health and family are the most important things in life.

“We wish him a speedy recovery, but I wish everyone who is fighting the virus at the moment a speedy recovery, and hope everything goes well.”

Lincoln v Liverpool 2:03

Highlights from the Carabao Cup match between Lincoln and Liverpool

Lijnders was also asked for his thoughts on Neco Williams, who blacked out his social media accounts after receiving abuse from some fans following a mistake he made in the win over Lincoln which led to a goal.

The 19-year-old has made 13 senior appearances for Liverpool since making his debut in October last year.

“First of all, Neco is a doer,” Lijnders added. “And doers make mistakes. We don’t want safe players who don’t take risks.

“For all young players, it’s a weakness if you get caught up in praise and criticism. He dealt with it well. Our players spoke with him. You can’t get caught up with praise or criticism as a young player.”

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