Liverpool midfielder absent from training ahead of Benfica in Champions League

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Liverpool are back in the Champions League on Wednesday night as they host Benfica at Anfield for the second leg of their quarter-final.

Jurgen Klopp’s side took a 3-1 lead in the game after goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz secured victory at the Estadio da Luz last week. Darwin Nunez gave his team a lifeline with a goal shortly after half-time and they will be hoping to produce a sensational comeback. There is little rest for the Reds after they drew 2-2 with Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday and remain one point behind their rivals in the title chase.

Attention quickly turned to European action, however, with a place up for grabs in the semi-finals of the competition against either Bayern Munich or Villarreal. Here are three things spotted during Liverpool’s training season on Tuesday at the AXA Training Center in Kirkby…

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No sign of Thiago

Midfielder Thiago was apparently not part of the squad involved in Tuesday afternoon’s session. He played 90 minutes against Manchester City in Sunday’s draw.

All other Liverpool midfielders took part in the session, with Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Harvey Elliott all in action.

It should be noted, however, that Roberto Firmino hasn’t taken part in Friday’s training session ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash. He was still named in the squad and replaced Sadio Mane in the 84th minute.

Williams and Davies involved

A few youngsters were training with the first team, with Rhys Williams and goalkeeper Harvey Davies in action.

The latter returned from injury to work alongside the other goalkeepers, while Williams was among the centre-backs to participate. The 21-year-old defender spent the first half of the season on loan at Swansea but returned to Merseyside in January.

He has made seven appearances for the U23s since his return, but with Liverpool’s first team well-stocked in central defence, he has yet to be named in a matchday squad.

A chance for Elliott or Jones?

Given that Liverpool come into the game with a 3-1 lead, Klopp could look to some of his younger squad members to play a role against Benfica. Harvey Elliott missed the squad for the game against City on Sunday but took part in training on Tuesday.

Curtis Jones was benched for the Etihad but hasn’t played since the win over Watford in the first match after the international break. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also missed out on a place on the bench against Pep Guardiola’s side but with bigger squads and more substitutions he could be an option for tomorrow night.

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