Liverpool defender Rhys Williams was left out of the England U21 squad to face Albania on Tuesday night as a precaution due to a hip problem.

Williams, 19, returned to Liverpool, whose injury problems are mounting ahead of the Premier League’s return this summer.

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"He had a very minor stiff hip,' Boothroyd said. "It was in his best interests to get him back to Liverpool.

"With all the players, if there's any potential injuries or niggles then our medical staff is in contact with the club. Rhys wasn't actually on the bench so I thought the best thing was to get him back to Liverpool."

The champions welcome table-topping Leicester to Anfield on Sunday, and could be without their entire first-choice back four. Centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both potentially out for the season, while full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are doubts for Sunday’s match.

Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool leads in Jordan Henderson captain of Liverpool and Andy Robertson

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Alexander-Arnold sat out of the international break after picking up a calf injury against Manchester City, while Robertson suffered a knock while on Scotland duty.

The international break also saw Mohamed Salah test positive for Covid-19 while away with Egypt, having been pictured attending his brother’s wedding while away, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson also suffering a knock in England’s game against Belgium on Sunday.

Klopp will be hoping Williams’ injury is not serious, although the Liverpool boss does have centre-back options returning to the fold with Fabinho likely to partner Joel Matip against Leicester.

Joe Gomez is expected to miss the majority of the 2020-21 season

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Fanbinho was deputising at centre-back before picking up an injury himself, with Klopp then turning to Nathaniel Phillips for the win over West Ham last month, while Williams went on to start against Atalante in the Champions League earlier in November.

Gomez partnered Matip against City, but the former picked up a knee injury during England training last week.

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