Jurgen Klopp returns a suspected positive test for Covid-19 and will miss Liverpool's trip to Chelsea, leaving Pep Lijnders in charge for the blockbuster clash at Stamford Bridge

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Jurgen Klopp returns a suspected positive test for Covid-19 and will miss Liverpool's trip to Chelsea, leaving Pep Lijnders in charge for the blockbuster clash at Stamford Bridge

  • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reporting mild symptoms of Covid-19
  • He is now isolating after returning a suspected positive test for the virus 
  • Assistant manager Pep Lijnders will be in charge of Liverpool at Chelsea
  • Klopp will miss what is one of the most important matches of the season so far 

Jurgen Klopp will miss Liverpool's trip to Chelsea on January 2 after returning a suspected positive test for Covid-19.

Klopp has mild symptoms and will isolate ahead of the fixture. Assistant manager Pep Lijnders will be in charge of Liverpool for the crucial match against their title rivals at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool said in a statement that testing of the entire first-team set-up has revealed no further positive cases within the playing squad in addition to the three confirmed by Klopp on Friday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has returned a suspected positive case of Covid-19

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has returned a suspected positive case of Covid-19

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has returned a suspected positive case of Covid-19

Klopp's assistant manager Pep Lijnders (left) will now take charge of Liverpool against Chelsea

Klopp's assistant manager Pep Lijnders (left) will now take charge of Liverpool against Chelsea

Three backroom staff members have returned suspected positive results, however. 

Should the positive test be confirmed, Klopp will also miss the midweek League Cup semi-final away to Arsenal. 

Speaking on Friday, Klopp said: 'We have three new Covid cases in the team, more in the staff. 

'I'm not able to say (who has tested positive) because we still need to do a PCR but you'll see tomorrow on the team sheet, it'll be clear.'

Asked if Liverpool were close to asking the Premier League to postpone the fixture, Klopp said: 'Not yet. We never had this sort of proper outbreak yet, it's more every day there's another one.

Liverpool face Chelsea in a big clash at Stamford Bridge looking to keep their title hopes alive

Liverpool face Chelsea in a big clash at Stamford Bridge looking to keep their title hopes alive

'It feels like a lottery in the morning when you are waiting for results. 

'It was now pretty much day by day there would be one case, today another one and now we have to wait. The boys aren't even in yet.

'At the moment, (it's) probably not (likely we will ask for the game to be postponed) but we are not sure how it'll look like in a few hours.'

Liverpool are currently third in the Premier League table and are looking to hit back after losing against Leicester on December 28.

Klopp, pictured here wearing a mask last month, has seen one of Liverpool's matches postponed due to the surge in positive Covid cases, which has hit Premier League fixtures

Klopp, pictured here wearing a mask last month, has seen one of Liverpool's matches postponed due to the surge in positive Covid cases, which has hit Premier League fixtures

Following Manchester City's victory at Arsenal on Saturday, Chelsea are 11 points behind the league leaders having played a game less, while Liverpool are 12 points adrift with two games in hand. Neither team, therefore, can afford to lose Sunday's blockbuster clash if they are realistically to challenge City for the title. 

The surge in Covid cases caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant has caused chaos within football, leaving some squads threadbare and an ever growing number of fixtures to be postponed due to lack of players.

There have been 18 postponed games in the Premier League so far due to Covid, with the New Year's Day clash between Leicester and Norwich falling the latest victim along with Newcastle's trip to Southampton on Sunday. 

Liverpool's Boxing Day game at Anfield was one of the games postponed after an outbreak among visitors Leeds.

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