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manager continues to miss the services of as many as six players, with Caoimhin Kelleher, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Divock Origi all still on the sidelines. In his pre-match press conference, though, Klopp provided an update on the rest of the squad.
“To be 100 per cent honest, we don’t know yet. We played on Tuesday, flew back on Wednesday, trained yesterday, some players felt still the game. Nobody is injured from the game but we have to see what we make with the information they give us today. Nobody’s injured but if we have to change something you will see tomorrow.”
Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos possess plenty of qualities, but pace is not chief among them, and so it was thought that Gini Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Fabinho could collectively give them a hard time.
Yet, in the end, craft triumphed over graft, with Liverpool’s infrequently seen midfield three finding itself not entirely unjustifiably held responsible for another disastrous result six months on from its last outing.
Given it is a must-win game for the Reds, who are staring at a quarter-final exit of the Champions League which would leave them reliant on qualifying for the top four via the league, tweaks are unlikely.
That means Trent Alexander-Arnold, after his midweek error, and Andy Robertson will start over Neco Williams and Kostas Tsimikas in the full-back roles.
Centre-backs Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak struggled against Karim Benzema and Vinicius in Spain and will hope to produce a sturdier display here after four clean sheets from four in their previous starts together.