Date: 23rd May 2018 at 7:55am
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Which players are likely to be unavailable when Liverpool take on Real Madrid?…

Liverpool could be handed a surprise boost in their bid to win a sixth European Cup on Saturday after Emre Can returned to team sessions during last week’s training camp in Spain.

The Germany international hasn’t featured since sustaining a back injury against Watford on March 17 and had looked odds-on to have kicked his last ball for the club ahead of a proposed summer move to Juventus.

Discussing his surprise involvement after a further training session involving Can at Anfield on Monday, manager Jürgen Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “10 days ago, I didn’t think it was possible that he could do what he did today, and that he could do what he did in Marbella already.

“That looked good and my impression of him is really positive, but we have to wait again until tomorrow. But the door, of course, is open.

“It’s really nice to have him back in the group and he is really desperate to be part of [the final] and we will see.”

Fellow midfielder James Milner has also been involved with the main group despite missing the Reds’ last game of the domestic season against Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend with a muscle issue.

Adam Lallana’s return from a hamstring issue as a second half substitute during that game means Klopp now has options in the middle of park once again.

Despite Lallana’s availability, and potentially that of Can, Klopp is likely to stick with the X1 that served him well during the majority of the 7-6 aggregate semi-final win over AS Roma.

Definitely out of the showpiece occasion in Kiev are Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Joël Matip (thigh).

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has no major absentees heading into the game but does face a couple of major selection decisions, most notably whether or not to field ex-Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale, who has scored five goals in his past four starts.

Also vying for a place alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in Real’s three-man attack are Isco, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, with the latter two seemingly most likely to miss out if Bale is included from the off.

Elsewhere the defence and midfield largely pick themselves, while regular No.1 Keylor Navas will return in goal after Zidane’s son Luca was handed his debut in the 2–2 La Liga draw with Villarreal CF on Saturday.

Neither side has anyone ruled out through suspension.

Possible Liverpool X1: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Mané, Salah, Firmino.


Possible Real Madrid X1: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Casimiro, Kroos, Modrić, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema.


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