Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of Liverpool’s Premier League game with Tottenham after registering a suspected positive Covid-19 test.
The 30-year-old had been due to line up in one of the four Premier League games to survive the swathe of recent postponements, but an official statement from Liverpool confirmed that he’d returned a suspected positive test and will instead self isolate until it’s determined whether or not he has the virus.
Liverpool also announced that Jordan Henderson would miss the Spurs game through illness, although his absence is not related to Covid-19 and is simply because he was unwell – adding him to a list of absentees which includes Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk, all of whom returned positive Covid tests earlier in the week.
The remainder of Liverpool’s squad and coaching staff all returned negative tests, allowing them to participate as normal for the game in north London.
As a result of Thiago and Henderson’s absences, up and coming teenager Tyler Morton was handed a start in central midfield alongside Naby Keita and James Milner, having previously put in encouraging displays in both the Carabao Cup and Champions League.
Van Dijk’s absence in central defence, meanwhile, was again covered by Ibrahima Konate rather than Joe Gomez, who continues to be frustrated by the little amount of first team football he’s playing at Anfield.
News of Thiago’s suspect positive result is yet another Covid-19 related blow that has hit the Premier League weekend hard. Six games were called off, including Aston Villa’s game with Burnley on Saturday at extremely short notice, as teams struggle to contain the virus which is now being transmitted more easily by the Omicron variant.
Currently, there are no official plans to implement any kind of circuit breaker, although Brentford boss Thomas Frank has already called for the festive fixtures to be pushed back to allow clubs to carry out thorough cleaning at training grounds and focus on player recovery.