• Premier League

Liverpool quartet close to fitness

ESPN staff
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Glen Johnson has not featured for Liverpool since their league win over Manchester United © Getty Images
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Liverpool quartet Glen Johnson, Philippe Coutinho, Joe Allen and Aly Cissokho are all closing in on returns from injury.

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Johnson, Allen and Cissokho are in contention for Saturday's Premier League trip to Newcastle United.

Coutinho, 21, is also stepping up his recovery following surgery on a shoulder injury sustained during the 2-2 draw at Swansea on September 16.

Rodgers has indicated that his likeliest return date will be October 26, when Liverpool host West Brom in a league fixture.

Johnson, 29, has not played since suffering an ankle sprain during the 1-0 league victory over Manchester United on September 1.

Allen, 23, has been absent since picking up a hamstring injury against Notts County in the Capital One Cup in August, while Cissokho, 26, damaged his ankle in the same game.

Rodgers told the Daily Mirror: "Aly has trained and he should be fine and fit for the Newcastle game, and likewise Joe. Glen's out on the field and hopefully after the international break he'll be ready to come back."

Allen, meanwhile, has told Liverpool's official website that he hopes to have a greater attacking influence when he returns.

"I can get involved more in the creative side, in assisting goals," Allen said. "That's a big thing. If I have the chance to play further forward, like I did in preseason, goals are obviously another big one that I'd like to add a bit more to my game.

"It's something I felt was coming at Swansea, and last season sort of stopped a little bit. That's something I think I can offer looking forward. I pride myself on that fact that I can play a couple of different roles, but that's a role I have played more naturally and played the most throughout my career."

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