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Alisson ruled out of Liverpool's Champions League clash against Ajax with hamstring injury as Kelleher steps up

18:50 GMT 01/12/2020
Caoimhin Kelleher Alisson
The Brazilian goalkeeper is not in the Reds’ 20-man squad for tonight’s Group D fixture at Anfield, with the Ireland U21 international deputising

Liverpool’s injury crisis shows no sign of slowing after Alisson Becker was ruled out of their crunch Champions League clash with Ajax.

The goalkeeper is not in the Reds’ 20-man squad for tonight’s Group D fixture at Anfield, with Ireland U21 international Caoimhin Kelleher deputising against the Dutch champions in what will be his first Champions League start.

Liverpool say Alisson's absence is precautionary due to a hamstring problem, but they will hope, with fixtures coming thick and fast in December, that his absence is not a long-term one. 

The Premier League champions are already stretched thin by injuries, with James Milner, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri all currently sidelined. Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, meanwhile, are longer-term absentees. Both will be lucky to play again this season.

Alisson has already missed three games this term after suffering a shoulder injury in a training session at Melwood in October.

Liverpool had initially feared he could miss up to six weeks, but he was able to return after just three, and has played in all the Reds’ eight games since.

Alisson does have a history of injury problems, missing the majority of the start of last season after picking up a knock in the first Premier League game of Liverpool's ultimately triumphant 2019-20 campaign. On that occasion, Adrian filled in for the Brazilian.

He will be missing this evening, although the Reds welcome Joel Matip and captain Jordan Henderson back into their starting line-up. 

Matip was rested for the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Saturday but returns alongside Fabinho at centre-back while Henderson, who was a half-time substitute at the Amex Stadium, plays in midfield with Gini Wijnaldum and the recalled Curtis Jones.

Sadio Mane also returns having started on the bench at the weekend, as part of a three-pronged attack with Diogo Jota and top scorer Mohamed Salah.

A draw would see Liverpool safely into the knockout stages for the fourth successive season, but a defeat against Erik ten Hag’s side would leave them requiring a result from their final group match, away to Danish champions FC Midtjylland on December 9, in order to progress.