Huddersfield v Liverpool preview: Naby Keita sidelined for Terriers trip
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Last Updated: 20/10/18 6:51pm
Naby Keita will not feature for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp faces close friend David Wagner's Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
The Guinea midfielder was taken off in the first half of his country's trip to Rwanda in the Africa Nations Cup qualifier on Tuesday and Klopp confirmed he had picked up a hamstring injury.
The Reds manager is also backing Wagner to succeed at Huddersfield despite their poor start to the season, and called another potential survival of relegation a 'third miracle'.
"This year it's a stronger side and stronger football. I speak to Dave [Wagner] most weekends and I think the club is brilliant," Klopp said.
"There is no reason to be worried about Dave's situation at Huddersfield. This year if he stays in the league he has a hat-trick of miracles."
Wagner also called Saturday's game "special", but said his side are focused on the challenge at hand against a Liverpool team who are unbeaten in the Premier League.
"It's a game I always look forward to," he said. "It's a special game, for me and this football club. We play Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League at our stadium. We will invest everything and we aim to deliver something extraordinary.
"We are focused and we will try to prepare the team as well as we can. All together we have to show the passion and desire to be ready for this challenge."
Elsewhere for Liverpool, Mohamed Salah (hamstring) and Sadio Mane (broken thumb) are still in contention despite arriving back at Melwood with fitness issues.
Virgil van Dijk will continue to play with a rib problem, James Milner could feature despite a hamstring injury sustained just before the international break while Adam Lallana is set to feature in the squad for the first time since September 1.
Philip Billing is hoping to prove his fitness in time for Huddersfield after sustaining an ankle injury while on international duty with Denmark U21s, but has returned to full training and will be monitored.
Isaac Mbenza (knee) will also be assessed, while club captain Tommy Smith (groin), Terence Kongolo (hamstring) and Danny Williams (knee) are out.
Huddersfield lost both Premier League meetings 3-0 against Liverpool last season, in what were their first league meetings with the Reds since the 1971-72 campaign.
Liverpool are unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions against Huddersfield (W9 D3 L0) and haven't conceded a single goal in any of their last seven against the Terriers.
Huddersfield have failed to score in any of their four Premier League home games this season - only Everton in 1998-99 have failed to score in any of their first five at home at the start of a Premier League campaign.
Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have lost five of their nine away Premier League games against teams starting the day in the relegation zone (P9 W2 D2 L5) and won none of their last six (W0 D2 L4) since a 6-0 victory at Aston Villa in February 2016.
Liverpool have lost just one of their last 16 Premier League games (W10 D5) and are unbeaten in their last nine (W7 D2 L0).
Huddersfield have fired in a league-low 20 shots on target in the Premier League this season, while only Man City (16) have faced fewer shots on target than Liverpool (21).
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has already hit more goals in nine appearances in all competitions this season (4), than he did in 20 last term for Liverpool and West Brom combined (3).
There are a few injury problems for Liverpool to deal with heading to Huddersfield. Jurgen Klopp gets his side playing at such a high tempo and they play pretty much the same team every week so they are always likely to pick up injuries.
They have and it seems they have all come at the same time. However, I still think they'll have too much for Huddersfield. If you are going to have injuries this is the perfect game to have them. You don't want to be playing Manchester United or Chelsea away with an injury crisis.
Liverpool will be too strong for Huddersfield. I just don't see David Wagner's side scoring and that's their problem.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-3 (7/1 with Sky Bet)