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Liverpool midfielders Henderson, Thiago are closing in on competitive return – Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool midfielders Thiago and Jordan Henderson are closing in on a return to competitive action.

The pair, who returned for pre-season later than several of their team-mates after their involvement at Euro 2020, did not feature in the 3-0 win at Norwich on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

However, Klopp said both players could come into contention against Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.

“They are much closer, yes. They look fine, now we have to make the decision,” said Klopp at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

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“They looked really good in the game and looked good in the training week, so it’s up to me to make some decisions.”

Klopp, who confirmed new contract talks between the club and Henderson remained ongoing, also spoke of his excitement at his side playing in front of a full crowd at Anfield for the first time since March 2020.

“Usually when you sign for Liverpool one of the first two or three things you are waiting for is your first game at Anfield to feel and to experience that atmosphere,” said Klopp.

Liverpool saw their 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League ended in a 1-0 defeat to Burnley in January last season, but Klopp insisted he was not looking for revenge against Sean Dyche’s side.

“Football is only possible to enjoy when you play in a positive way, when you just go for it,” Klopp said.

“There are no guarantees out there, not at all, especially not against Burnley because they can make your life really uncomfortable.

Jurgen Klopp reveals his delight at seeing the return of Virgil van Dijk following his long-term injury.

“They defend well and have really good footballers in the team. Sean is doing a brilliant job there. He sets them up so they are not only annoying, good set pieces, all this kind of stuff.

“They have a clear way of playing, so that’s what we prepare for – not any kind of revenge or whatever.”

Meanwhile, Klopp also spoke about the passing of Fabinho’s father earlier this week.

“I would like to say it’s a private situation,” the German manager said. “Fab is here and is doing what he is able to do and that’s it pretty much.

“We all feel for him, we all feel with him and we give him and his family our condolences. We try to give him all the warmth, all the love we have in this moment and that’s it, the rest is private.”

Klopp said he had not been surprised by Virgil van Dijk’s return to competitive action – for the first time since last October – in the convincing win at Norwich.

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Jurgen Klopp is fired up for the return of fans at Anfield and insists Liverpool’s defeat to Burnley last season is out of his mind.

“He had a four-and-a-half-week pre-season, maybe five, and if you put in all his other rehab stuff it was probably the longest pre-season of all time,” the German added.

“But I saw him obviously in training every day. He played like he trained before so I was not surprised.

“But yes, Virgil is a good football player, so that’s why I was really happy to have him back.”

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