Markovic facing a race against time to be fit

Lazar Markovic could hand Liverpool a timely boost ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener with Southampton by returning to full fitness.

The close-season signing from Benfica has missed the final four games of Liverpool's pre-season schedule with a tendon problem sustained on his debut against Olympiacos in Chicago. 

However, Brendan Rodgers is optimistic that the winger could be available for selection against Southampton. And, if Markovic does miss out, the Liverpool boss expects to have him at his disposal when last season's runners-up travel to champions Manchester City the following week.

Speaking after Liverpool thrashed Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on Sunday, Rodgers said: "He'll hopefully be around then [for the Southampton match], but if not then he certainly will for the next game.

"He had a slight problem with his tendon, but he's up to speed.

"He's working with our sports science team. 

"He's looking very strong and if he just misses out, he certainly should be available for the next game."