November 30, 2021

Why is Alisson not playing for Liverpool vs Watford?

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The goalkeeper’s involvement in Brazil’s World Cup qualifying matches means he has had to miss out on the clash at Vicarage Road

Liverpool return to Premier League action against Watford on Saturday without their star goalkeeper Alisson.

The Brazil international was on the bench for his country as they beat Uruguay 4-1 on Thursday evening. 

Along with Reds midfielder Fabinho, the shot-stopper will have to sit out the clash at Vicarage Road. 

Why is Alisson not playing?

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp confirmed the goalkeeper and Fabinho would not be part of the squad for Saturday’s match. 

In addition to Brazil’s game against Uruguay finishing in the early hours of Friday morning UK time, quarantine rules would have meant Alisson and Fabinho would also have had to go into isolation.

“We have no chance, obviously; somebody decided to give Brazil the opportunity to play last night, so a few hours ago, and somebody made a decision that we have to play on Saturday at 12.30. It is all not in our hands,” he said at a press conference on Friday.

“If we say something, it is always the same people saying the same stuff, ‘Yeah, that’s why you have a big squad…’ That’s all clear, but you have a big squad not for issues with football associations because they put in tournaments – five players have to play there, four players have to play there, but then you still have a league game to play.

“So, we’ve known it for a while, we made our decision a while ago, we had to sort quarantine issues and all these kind of things, so the decision we made is the boys will not be here – they will go directly to Madrid, wait there for us and then hopefully be able to play against Atletico.”

When will Alisson be back?

Alisson has travelled directly to Spain to wait for his side’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid.

He will be available to play against Diego Simeone’s team on Tuesday and then return to England ahead of next week’s Premier League match against Manchester United.

“Because the last game they played in a red-list country was Colombia, don’t ask me now exactly which day but next Wednesday to Thursday at one minute past midnight then it is 10 days and from that moment they can come back,” Klopp said.

“These are the rules at the moment and we cannot change that. They could have flown in to England, but with all the quarantine stuff then that would have meant they have to isolate from their families and stuff like this. Ali has three kids and being away already 12 days with the national team and then 10 days in isolation, then two weeks here, the same rubbish again. We need solutions for that and they are still not there.” 

Who is starting for Liverpool vs Watford?

Caoimhin Kelleher takes Alisson’s place in goal, making his first Premier League appearance of the season and the third of his career.

Kelleher has played just once so far this season – in the 3-0 win at Norwich in the Carabao Cup in September.

Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold is back in the Reds defence and Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino start, too. All three players were absent from the starting XI in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City two weeks ago.

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