Virgil van Dijk is a slight doubt for Liverpool’s Premier League game at home to Leicester City, but Jurgen Klopp has suggested that the Dutch defender will be involved.Van Dijk has started all 23 league games for the Reds this season, winning December’s Premier League player of the month award, but has been struggling with illness ahead of Wednesday’s visit of the Foxes.Former Southampton and Celtic centre-back Van Dijk has played a key role in Liverpool’s stunning campaign, with Klopp’s side four points clear of last term’s champions Manchester City. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He has been nursing a virus over recent days and would be a big miss if forced to sit things out in midweek.Liverpool have major problems in defence for the Leicester game without bringing Van Dijk into the equation, with Joe Gomez still recovering from a fractured leg while Trent Alexander-Arnold has a knee injury.James Milner filled in at right-back in Liverpool’s last Premier League game, a 4-3 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield, but he is suspended as he was sent off late in that game, with another makeshift option – Fabinho – another of those to have been nursing a knock.However, Dejan Lovren could come in as the Croatia defender has been passed fit following a hamstring injury.”Virgil was a little ill but he trained yesterday [Monday], so we will see. He will train today, so we will see,” Klopp told reporters.“Gini trained, Fabinho will train today, Trent is getting closer and closer and it looks all very positive, but he will not be ready for tomorrow. Joe is a no.”With Liverpool having been knocked out of the FA Cup, Klopp took advantage of a rare break in his side’s schedule to take his squad to Dubai for a warm-weather break.”It was good we could do that and usually you’d say no games in that time, usually one game in that time would be good, difficult lineup-wise as we needed couple days for the boys and a few players were not a part of training until a few days ago,” he added. “But it was good, we didn’t have to play important cup competitions but it would not have been possible for a lot of players. We had a few more days and now have to show [it made a difference]. But Leicester are in the same situation so it’s not a massive advantage. “It’s just the situation and they can bring back [Harry] Maguire I heard after injury in the last game and so we had a few more days and could wait for one or two players but we have to see if they are available for the game.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
zoom Container freight rates are forecast to rise modestly over the next 18 months from the all-time lows reached recently, but this will not be sufficient to rescue the industry from substantial losses in 2016, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.Liner shipping has had a torrid time so far in 2016 with spot freight rate volatility reaching unprecedented levels, while unit industry income has fallen to record lows.Drewry estimates that container carriers collectively signed away USD 10 billion in revenue in this year’s contract rate negotiations on the two main East-West trades. With annual Transpacific contract rates as low as USD 800 per 40ft to the US West Coast and USD 1,800 per 40ft to the US East Coast, carriers have done exactly what they did during the global financial crisis in May 2009 in a desperate attempt to retain market share.With first quarter headhaul load factors at around 90%, there was no logical reason for carriers to sign so much revenue away in one fell swoop, Drewry said.While spot rates on the core trades have significantly improved after the 1 July GRIs, it is still too early to say if carriers have suddenly changed their approach to commercial pricing.The recent decision by the G6 lines to take a weekly loop out of the Asia-North Europe trade is a positive move. But similarly pragmatic and pro-active measures will be necessary across other sick trades if recent improvements are to gain momentum. While the new alliance structures are bedding-in between now and April 2017, this work will take some time yet.“For 2017, Drewry anticipates a slightly brighter picture with global freight rates forecast to improve by about 8%. Carriers are expected to take some action to address overcapacity as cashflow attrition becomes more urgent and BCO (beneficial cargo owner) rates rise from this year’s lows. But once again, this cannot be seen as a genuine recovery since these so-called improvements must be set in context against the unnecessarily big rate declines seen in both 2015 and 2016,” Neil Dekker, Drewry’s director of container research said.