Liverpool set for Thiago boost against Newcastle but fear the worst over Joel Matip

The Spanish midfielder has not played since October (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara could make his long-awaited return to the Reds’ matchday squad against Newcastle United on Wednesday night, though Joel Matip faces a number of weeks on the sidelines.

The Premier League champions were held to a 1-1 draw on Sunday against West Brom and were dealt yet more bad injury news, with Matip hobbling out of the match and Naby Keita suffering a muscle injury beforehand.

In addition to long-time absentees like Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, Liverpool have also been without Thiago after he was on the receiving end of a rash challenge from Richarlison in the Merseyside derby.

Thiago has been taking a full part in first-team training (Picture: Getty)

He returned to training earlier this month and has been stepping up his recovery, training with the first team over Christmas period, and could now come back into the matchday squad.

According to, Thiago has shown no adverse reaction since returning and the next step is to begin being gradually reintegrated into the first team, potentially beginning at St. James’ Park.

But the games come thick and fast over the coming weeks and Jurgen Klopp could err on the side of caution, instead bringing Thiago back against Southampton next Monday.

There was worse news for Matip, though, with Liverpool set to once again be without a senior first-team centre-back for the foreseeable after he pulled up with a groin problem against West Brom.

‘Joel told me he felt something in his adductor and that’s obviously not too good,’ Klopp explained afterwards.

Matip had to come off after an hour against West Brom (Picture: Getty)

‘I am not sure how serious it is now, but it was serious enough that he had to leave the pitch. The rest of the information I will get [on Monday].’

Liverpool are still awaiting a full diagnosis, but they are fearing the worst and expect the 29-year-old to be sidelined for several weeks – though they do not intend to sign a new central defender in the January window despite their injury crisis at the back.

Liverpool must sign a centre-back in the January transfer window, says Jamie Carragher

MORE : Jurgen Klopp reveals Liverpool stars were ‘angry’ after West Brom draw

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