Jurgen Klopp tests positive for COVID as Liverpool boss misses Chelsea match

Jurgen Klopp is set to undertake a period of isolation after returning a suspected positive COVID-19 test.

The Liverpool boss, who held his Friday press conference via Zoom, is reporting mild symptoms after a test was taken at the club’s AXA Training Centre in Kirkby.

As a result, assistant boss Pep Lijnders will take charge of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea as the Reds aim to get back to winning ways following defeat to Leicester City and a draw with Tottenham Hotspur in their last two Premier League games.

Klopp becomes the latest member of the Liverpool camp to test positive with three first-team stars also set to be absent for the match at Stamford Bridge.

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On Friday, the Reds manager was unable to identify the trio who will miss the game in west London on Friday, saying: “We have three new COVID cases in the team and a few more in the staff.

“So it’s not so cool at the moment.

“I’m not able to say who has been affected as we have to have the whole processes with proper PCR tests.

“But you will see the day after tomorrow on the team sheet. It’s really clear who is affected or infected.”

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It is likely that the three players will be named once team news is confirmed at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Klopp will isolate while he awaits the results of a PCR test and will not make the trip to London with his players and staff.

The German is also likely to miss Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg tie against Arsenal at the Emirates.

An official statement from the club reads: “Jürgen Klopp will miss Liverpool’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea on Sunday after returning a suspected positive COVID-19 test result.

“The Reds manager, who reported mild symptoms ahead of the fixture, is now isolating.

“Assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders will therefore lead the team for the 4.30pm GMT kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

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“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.

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

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Despite the outbreak, Liverpool have not asked for the game to be postponed and still expect it to go ahead as of Saturday afternoon.

The Reds recently played without Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones after their own positive tests, while Thiago Alcantara was laid low with the coronavirus before Christmas.

Thiago will miss Sunday’s match with a hip complaint while Takumi Minamino is unavailable for the Reds due to injury.

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