May 11, 2018 / 1:58 PM / 17 days ago

Soccer: Liverpool and England boost as Klopp declares Lallana fit

LONDON (Reuters) - Adam Lallana is ready to return from injury for Liverpool on Sunday and could land the chance to also prove his fitness for England’s World Cup squad which is named next week.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Liverpool vs NK Maribor - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - November 1, 2017 Liverpool's Adam Lallana watches the game from the sideline REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files

Injuries have restricted the midfielder to just 13 appearances for his club this season and he lasted just five minutes into his latest comeback against Crystal Palace on March 31.

But Lallana, who turned 30 on Thursday, looks set for a place on the bench in Liverpool’s final Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion when Juergen Klopp’s side need a point to confirm a top-four finish.

“He is as fit as possible,” said Klopp at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“Adam has trained for a week. Yesterday, he trained normal. He looks okay. The perfect thing would be to give him minutes and we would see if we can.”

Lallana’s return could not be better timed with the Champions League final against Real Madrid little more than two weeks away and Gareth Southgate naming his squad for the World Cup in Russia on May 16.

Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea last week has ensured that, just like last year, the Merseysiders’ fight for Champions League qualification has gone down to the final game.

“We are part of it. I am not frustrated about it,” said Klopp, who 12 months ago oversaw the 3-0 final-day defeat of Middlesbrough to ensure they finished fourth.

This season Liverpool’s task has been made easier by Chelsea’s midweek draw with Huddersfield, a result that leaves the Blues two points behind Klopp’s side with a vastly inferior goal difference.

But the German warned that Brighton, who have only pride to play for after securing their Premier League status, could prove dangerous opponents.

Liverpool have won just one of their past five games in all competitions and talisman Mo Salah is without a goal in three games. But Klopp said they have benefited from a week off and reported no new injuries.

“A week was exactly what we needed, we had a few players with some problems and had time to recover. We still have two days and that should help us. It would have been difficult to play during the week.

“People told me good luck for [the Champions League final] at the LFC awards last night. But right now it’s onto the next challenge. We need to deliver on Sunday again. It’s not a farewell thing.”

Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Ian Chadband

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