The international break is over and Liverpool returns to Premier League action with the toughest assignment of all — an away trip to Manchester City. The Reds finished 22 points behind Pep Guardiola's side last season, but the significance of the fixture in the title race may now have been restored, with Liverpool just a point adrift of the reigning champion in second place as it travels to Manchester.

A victory at the Etihad, which would be the club's first in the Premier League since 2015, would therefore give it a two-point cushion at the top of the table, at least until Arsenal plays Brentford on Saturday evening. Lose, however, and Liverpool could potentially fall to fourth by the end of the weekend.

READ MORE: Tottenham could deny Liverpool transfer again as Man Utd clearout may see 15 players axed

READ MORE: Liverpool confirms $100m Anfield Road opening date as Manchester United plan outlined

Jürgen Klopp expressed his frustration with the decision to schedule the match for the lunchtime kick-off, telling the press that those responsible 'cannot feel football' (via The Guardian). One possible concern was that his quartet of South American players — goalkeeper Alisson, midfielder Alexis Mac Allister and forwards Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez — may struggle with the tight turnaround, but all of them trained on Thursday, as per the club's official website. Here, rounds up the rest of the injury news at Anfield ahead of the game.

Ryan Gravenberch, Curtis Jones, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konaté

All four of the players who missed the 3-0 victory over Brentford with short-term injuries took part in Thursday's session. That means Ryan Gravenberch and Curtis Jones could battle for a spot in midfield, while Ibrahima Konaté, who had to withdraw from the France squad for the international break, will compete with Joël Matip for the right-sided center-back role alongside Virgil van Dijk. The returning Joe Gomez is also a candidate to start at left-back over Kostas Tsimikas, having done so in the 1-1 draw with Luton earlier this month.

Thiago, Andy Robertson and Stefan Bajčetić

None of Liverpool's long-term absentees are ready to return just yet. Following surgery on a dislocated shoulder, Andy Robertson won't be back until late January if the initial three-month prognosis proves to be accurate, while Thiago has also been ruled out until the New Year. The club continues to carefully manage Stefan Bajčetić, who only played two matches after coming back from a serious injury before breaking down again. There's no sign yet of the Spaniard rejoining his teammates for full training.

There may be another update on the progress of the trio, as well as the status of Gravenberch, Jones, Gomez and Konaté, in Klopp's press conference. That's scheduled for Friday midday UK time, and will have all the headlines covered.