Jurgen Klopp will have spent most of his weekend sweating on the fitness of key players ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City on Tuesday.
Leading 3-0 from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, Klopp and his squad are in a pretty good place. But with Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson both missing the Merseyside derby through injury at the weekend, there are injury concerns for Liverpool as they look to reach the UCL semifinals.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s clash with City, Klopp gave the following update on top scorer Salah, plus left backs Andrew Robertson and Alberto Moreno.
“With Mo, Robbo and Alberto, we have to wait a little bit but of course [we have] big hope they will be back,” Klopp said.
Asked in more detail about Salah’s injury, with the Egyptian winger left out of the clash at Everton on Saturday with a groin problem, Klopp was cautious but was quoted as saying “everybody thinks he will be ready” for the City game.
“We have to see,” Klopp said. “We have to wait for the reaction tomorrow. Then we’ll make a decision. That’s it.”
The German coach added that he was still uncertain about the fitness levels of most of his squad and would wait until later on Monday to assess them fully.
“No real clue in the moment because we have to wait a little bit. You can imagine, in this short period between games, it is quite difficult so I have to wait each minute I can and that’s what I’ll do. There’s nothing new in the moment, we will see. We will see in five hours until we train and we’ll know who is involved in that. I don’t know in the moment 100 per cent, but I am quite hopeful we will have a bigger squad than we had at Everton.”
One player who will not be fit is Emre Can as the German midfielder continues to struggle with a back injury. Klopp didn’t set a timeline for Can’s return.
“That is not in the best place. [He is receiving] treatment and we’re still hoping it will be a little bit quicker than maybe we thought in the first moment. But we cannot say anything else,” Klopp added.
As for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who all started on the bench during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Everton in the Merseyside derby, Klopp revealed they are all in good shape and ready to roll.
So, a real mixed bag for Klopp.
The main man everyone wants to know about is Salah and at this point it seems likely he may not start against City with Liverpool 3-0 up and the likes of Sadio Mane and Firmino around.
Why would Klopp risk further damaging his star player who has scored 38 goals in all competitions this season?