Jurgen Klopp is hoping that vital striker Roberto Firmino is ready to go tomorrow against Barcelona in a massive Champions League semifinal battle, and while the prospects are positive, the Brazilian is firmly a game-time decision.
According to the Liverpool boss, Firmino’s chances of playing “look good” but he’s not ready to commit to the injured striker’s presence on the field.
“We all knew from the beginning it would be a race,” Klopp said on Tuesday in his pre-match press conference. “We don’t have to make a decision today because there’s no game today, we can wait. It looked good so far but until tomorrow I have to make that decision – after lunchtime tomorrow. That’s what I will do.”
Firmino is dealing with a torn groin muscle suffered in training just last week, and it kept him off the field for the massive 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town last time out. However, with such an important game on the docket, the Brazilian could make his way into the lineup.
“Bobby trained yesterday and was completely normal, it was not high intensity, we had to work on set pieces and a couple of things,” Klopp said. “Apart from the word ‘tear’ everything else is positive, but it’s Bobby so he might be ready for Wednesday but we don’t know obviously at the moment, but because it’s him, it’s more likely than not.”
Klopp also confirmed that Fabinho is available for selection after missing the Huddersfield Town match after a blow to the head, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also a possibility after making his year-long comeback complete with a substitute appearance against the Terriers.
“This is now the most intense period of a long, long season because we now have three games in six days and we need to think about different things,” Klopp said of the injury situation. “Of course with the opponents we have it’s difficult. But the boys are all in good shape so we will use as many as possible.”
Liverpool has the first leg against Barcelona on Wednesday, followed by a Premier League duel with Newcastle on the weekend. Next week is the second leg against the Spanish side at Anfield, followed by the final Premier League match of the season against Wolves. A potential Champions League final would take place on June 1.