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    Liverpool set to hold firm over January Newcastle target | Shoot

    Liverpool prepare to host Porto at Anfield in their penultimate Champions League group stage fixture on Wednesday evening, safe in the knowledge that their progression into the knockout stages is already secured. 

    Jurgen Klopp’s side have navigated their way through Group B thanks to a 100% record in their opening four fixtures, and the German may now choose to give some of his first team regulars a well-earned rest against the Portuguese side on Wednesday.

    The likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who have both been in sensational form so far this season, could be set to sit the game out with qualification already confirmed, as Klopp looks to focus on the Premier League until European football returns in February.

    That could give opportunities to some of Klopp’s lesser-used players, such as Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi.

    The former scored in the Reds’ 4-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday, while Origi scored against West Ham United in their previous fixture.

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    Origi has struggled for minutes in recent seasons.

    Origi, who has struggled for first team chances this term, had been heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United, who are set to target experienced players in January as they look to establish their Premier League status.

    In the wake of their £300 million takeover, the Magpies are being linked with a number of players in many different positions, but it now appears that the Belgian striker is one player who may be unattainable.

    As per The Northern Echo, the 26-year-old will not be allowed to leave Anfield in January, as Klopp is unwilling to let him go when Salah and Mane are both set to miss a large chunk of the season.

    The pair are both due to depart for the African Cup of Nations in February, and that would leave Klopp’s attacking options depleted.

    The German is therefore unwilling to let Origi go to Newcastle, despite the Magpies’ feeling that a six-month loan deal for the player could benefit both parties.

    Origi has had very little opportunity to impress in the league so far this term, playing only 16 minutes across two substitute appearances, but his manager is clearly adamant that he will be required when the Reds’ African duo head to AFCON.

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