LIVERPOOL, England (AP)Liverpool center back Virgil van Dijk is on track to start at Newcastle on Saturday after sitting out for nearly six weeks with a hamstring injury.

The Netherlands captain hasn’t played since early January though he was on the bench against Everton in a 2-0 win that Liverpool hopes will reboot its top-four hopes in the Premier League.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was asked Friday if Van Dijk is ready to start against fourth-place Newcastle. He replied: ”I think so, yeah.”

”Yesterday, he looked absolutely ready. I think today he will look the same and then we make a decision,” Klopp said at a press conference.

Liverpool is in ninth place but has played at least one game fewer than most of the teams above it.

Real Madrid visits Anfield on Tuesday night in the Champions League round of 16.

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