Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he will make a decision regarding the fitness of Daniel Sturridge on Friday, after the forward declared that he was ready to go after being sidelined with a knee injury.
He told reporters at his pre-match press conference, as covered by the Liverpool Echo, that Sturridge hasn't trained much but is as good as he can be with a break from the side, and hailed his 'outstanding' qualities.
The Reds boss said: “As a striker, sometimes, five minutes are enough. I’ll have to see tomorrow and think about it after the press conference.
“He has to train now, that’s for sure. Four and a half weeks, he couldn’t train. No cycling or running. Maybe we should. But first of all, five years contract, everyone wants to see more of him but we have to find the right balance and we’ll see.
“When you see Daniel in training and he does something, you say ‘ooh, nice’.”
Jordon Ibe and James Milner return to the squad having missed international duty through injury but this game is a little early for captain Jordan Henderson, who is expected to start training next week after fracturing his metatarsal earlier on in the season.
Jordan Rossiter is to resume training on Sunday, while Jose Enrique has also trained with the first team, but Klopp didn't put a timescale on the injury Mamadou Sakho sustained prior to the international break, saying it won't be 'Christmas 2016'.
Ahead of this weekend's game with the league leaders, the Liverpool manager wasn't concerned with labelling Manchester City as the best team in the division, saying: “I don’t care about if they’re the best team in the league. All I care about is if Liverpool are the best team in the league.”
Inevitably a lot of the attention this weekend is on former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, who swapped the Reds for City in a transfer that left a bitter taste in many mouths on Merseyside, but Klopp doesn't seem concerned about it.
He said: “It’s normal and nothing special. I don’t know how many friends Raheem has here but he’s a good player. He played here, had a good time here, I’ve heard no bad word about him. Friendly, shake hands, then it’s football.”
In the background has been the question as to whether Reds legend Steven Gerrard will be able to train at Melwood during the MLS off season before he returns to LA Galaxy.
The Liverpool manager seemed to welcome the idea, saying: “If he wants to train here, of course he can. He’s used Melwood for about 500 years, it’s no problem.”