Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will miss his side’s crucial Premier League trip to Chelsea after the German returned a suspected positive COVID-19 test, the club said on Saturday. 

“Jurgen Klopp will miss Liverpool’s Premier League meeting with Chelsea on Sunday after returning a suspected positive COVID-19 test result,” Liverpool said in a statement. 

Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders will be in charge at Stamford Bridge as both Liverpool and Chelsea, third and second respectively in the Premier League table, try to keep pace with Manchester City, who extended their lead at the top to 11 with a 2-1 win at Arsenal earlier today. 

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Apart from Klopp, three of Liverpool’s backroom staff have also tested positive for the coronavirus but no other players have contracted the infection apart from the three unnamed players confirmed by Klopp on Friday. The Merseyside club are not expected to ask for the match to be rescheduled. 

“Testing of the entire first-team set-up has revealed no further positive cases within the playing squad in addition to the three confirmed by Klopp on Friday. Three backroom staff members have returned suspected positive results, however,” the statement added.

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The club also said Klopp was showing “mild symptoms” and is currently in isolation. 

Earlier this week, the 54-year-old German described each day as a “lottery” as he awaited news on any of his squad members testing positive. 

Liverpool are currently a point off Chelsea in second and 12 adrift of City at the top, albeit with two games in hand on the leaders. 

On Friday, Klopp said his side “have to be perfect” to catch up with City in the title race. “And if you’re not perfect you have to hope City are not perfect.”

The comments came on the back of Liverpool’s shock 1-0 loss to Leicester City in a week when the Citizens beat Brentford by the same margin.