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Premier League | Gameweek 13
Nov 25, 2023 at 12.30pm UK
Etihad Stadium
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Man City
1 - 1
Liverpool

Haaland (27')
Silva (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Alexander-Arnold (80')
Nunez (75'), Matip (86'), Endo (90+3')

Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas quells injury fears ahead of Manchester City clash

Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas quells injury fears ahead of Man City clash
© Reuters
Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas brushes off suggestions that he picked up an injury on international duty ahead of the Reds' Premier League clash with Manchester City.

Liverpool defender Kostas Tsimikas has confirmed that his absence from Greece's recent Euro 2024 qualifying clash with France was not injury-related.

The 27-year-old had completed the full 90 minutes in the Pirate Ship's 2-0 friendly win over Finland last Friday and was expected to hold his place for their final Group B fixture with France.

However, Tsimikas was not involved whatsoever for Gus Poyet's side on Tuesday, as Norwich City's Dimitrios Giannoulis instead occupied the left-hand side in that 2-2 draw in Athens.

Tsimikas's absence naturally raised fears that the former Olympiacos man was an enforced withdrawal from the squad, which could have left Jurgen Klopp without a senior left-back for Saturday lunchtime's meeting with Manchester City.

The Reds are already coping without Andrew Robertson until the New Year owing to his shoulder injury and subsequent surgery, leaving Tsimikas as Klopp's only recognised option on that side, while Joe Gomez and Luke Chambers are emergency solutions.

Kostas Tsimikas in action for Greece on September 27, 2022© Reuters

However, with Greece already confirmed to be entering the qualifying playoffs before taking on France, Tsimikas has revealed that the decision to leave him out was a tactical one, as he had already picked up two bookings in Group B and would have served a suspension in the playoffs had he been cautioned on Tuesday.

"I could not play in the game against France because if I should take a yellow card, I would not play in the [play-off] games in March, which are more important than the one against France," Tsimikas told the official Liverpool website. "I decided to come back earlier to the team, to be with the squad, to train with the team, to be more ready.

"It was my decision and this is what I wanted to do because, as everybody knows, most of the time we play 12.30 after the international break and even the players who played far, they didn't come yet, they come probably one day, two days before the game. So for me, I think it was a very good chance to come earlier to be with the team and to train hard."

Liverpool added that Tsimikas had already arrived back at their AXA Training Centre in Kirkby, and the Greece international will therefore be expected to get the nod at the Etihad in the lunchtime kickoff.

Tsimikas has played second fiddle to Robertson ever since arriving at Anfield in the summer of 2020, but the Scotsman's absence has allowed him to start three of the Reds' last four matches in the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring for Liverpool on November 12, 2023© Reuters

Last time out against Brentford, Tsimikas registered two assists in a 3-0 win, which came only a few days after he cheaply lost possession inside his own half to give away a goal in a 3-2 Europa League loss to Toulouse.

"Before Brentford, I was not in the best condition of myself. I try to find my best moments, I try to fight back, to be the player I was before, to make assists, to run, to defend, to do everything on the pitch," Tsimikas added.

"I'm really happy I came back against Brentford. I have to keep going with the same passion. OK, this can happen, we play football, it's a very difficult sport. It's up to me now to continue to play good and to make assists for the team."

While Tsimikas will be involved on Saturday, all of Robertson, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic will miss out, while Gomez, Ryan Gravenberch, Curtis Jones and Ibrahima Konate will need once-overs owing to various issues.

Meanwhile, all of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister and Alisson Becker must re-acclimatise to English soil after representing their nations in South America, but the quartet should be involved in the clash with the champions.

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