How Liverpool could line up at Leeds as FIFA ban Brazilian stars from match

Barring an appeal, the Reds will be without their Brazilian players at Elland Road after they were withdrawn from international duty over fears of Covid-19 quarantine

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Brazil coach Tite fumes after Premier League block players from joining squad

Liverpool will have to make do without their three Brazil stars at Leeds United on Sunday after FIFA accepted the Brazilian FA’s request to block them from playing.

Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, who is carrying a hamstring injury in any case, were all stopped from reporting for international duty by the club as they would then have been required to quarantine upon their return.

Manchester City’s Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea defender Thiago Silva, Manchester United’s Fred and Leeds star Raphinha were also stopped from reporting for duty by their clubs, and all five will also be unable to play in the Premier League at the weekend as it stands.

The decision is likely to be appealed by the clubs involved, especially as Everton have been given special dispensation to play Richarlison due to apparent good relations with the Brazilian FA, and so it remains to be seen whether they really will be barred from playing.

Both Firmino and Fabinho were not selected for international duty


Getty Images)

But for now, Jurgen Klopp will have to make do without the trio for the tricky trip to Yorkshire.

In Alisson’s absence, it will surely be the young Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher who comes in for his first appearance of the season.

The 22-year-old has usurped Adrian to become the club’s de facto No.2 goalkeeper, and he made his Premier League debut for the Reds last season.

Kelleher has made nine appearances for the club in total across the last two campaigns, and the Reds rewarded him with a new deal until the summer of 2026 in July.

Midfield promises to be a trickier conundrum for Klopp, although he has already had to do without Fabinho once this season.

The former Real Madrid and Monaco man missed the 2-0 win over Burnley following the sad death of his father, before returning to the side for the clash with Chelsea just prior to the international break.

Although Fabinho is Liverpool’s best defensive midfielder, his place in the deep-lying role can easily be taken by Jordan Henderson, who also started against Chelsea along with Harvey Elliott, who left England under-21 duty early with a slight injury.

How Liverpool could look at Elland Road

Klopp might see this as the perfect opportunity to give Thiago Alcantara a first start of the season after he didn’t join up with the Spain camp, while Naby Keita is also an option after he was safely removed from Guinea this week.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones represent other options., while James Milner will be in line to face his former club if he can shake off a knock.

In attack, it was already highly likely that Firmino wouldn’t play after he went off early against Chelsea, with Diogo Jota replacing him then and likely to do so again here.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane didn’t have any issues on international duty, although Takumi Minamino did pick up a minor knock for Japan.

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