Soccer-Liverpool's Keita available for Brighton game but Fabinho, Thiago out

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - October 24, 2021 Manchester United's Paul Pogba fouls Liverpool's Naby Keita before being sent off after a VAR review REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Liverpool's Naby Keita will be available to face Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on Saturday but fellow midfielder Fabinho is likely to miss out and Thiago Alcantara is not ready to return, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

Guinean Keita went off in the second half of Liverpool's 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend after being on the receiving end of a two-footed tackle from Paul Pogba, who was sent off.

Keita missed Liverpool's League Cup last-16 win at second-tier Preston North End on Wednesday but has resumed full training.

"Naby Keita looks good; we were all surprised, but he was obviously lucky so I think he will be ready," Klopp told reporters.

"With Fabinho it doesn’t look that good, it’s a bit more complicated. Not too complicated, but complicated enough to keep him out now, again, probably," added the German.

"I'm still waiting for the latest news, but he was not in team training yet and that is never a good sign."

The Brazilian missed the Old Trafford game with a knee injury.

Klopp said Spain midfielder Thiago had trained with the squad on Thursday but needed more time to recover from a calf strain.

"We did a session where he could be part of pretty much the whole session, that doesn’t mean he is ready to play a football game, unfortunately," added the manager.

"We will see what we do with him, but he is closer than he was last week, much closer."

Liverpool are second in the standings, a point behind Chelsea after nine games.

Brighton are flying high in fifth place but lost 4-1 at home to champions Manchester City last weekend.

Graham Potter's team stunned Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield last February, albeit in an empty stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Tomorrow is one of trickiest games in the Premier League because of the work Graham is doing at Brighton and the way they play," said Klopp.

"There is no game which you can take a little bit easy, not at all, you have to be always at your absolute best.

"We lost the last game here against Brighton so that is another warning, but the big difference is Anfield will be packed to help."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris)

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