Liverpool will have to do without the services of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge as they travel to Hoffenheim for their Champions League qualifier
Jurgen Klopp will travel with his squad for the first leg to play the Bundesliga club for a spot in the Champions League group stages. Amid heavy speculation of Liverpool’s star playmaker joining Barcelona, Coutinho missed their weekend opener against Watford,
And the Brazilian has been left out of the travelling squad for Tuesday’s match as well owing to a back injury. Daniel Sturridge is also missing from the travelling party heading to Germany, with the English striker still nursing the thigh injury he picked up in a pre-season clash with Bayern Munich.
Adam Lallana (thigh) and Nathaniel Clyne (back) remain sidelined and will miss out on the action. Danny Ings will also continue to be unavailable as he is yet to recover completely from a knee injury.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Klopp said, “Nothing has changed in the last few days, not on the one side, not on the other side. He (Coutinho) is not available for us in the moment, that’s the main issue if you want. He cannot play for Liverpool in this moment and, how everybody can imagine, that’s quite a blow for us.”
He further went on to add that Coutinho’s absence will not hamper their performance on the field. “We’ve known for a few days about it so we can prepare this game without him, like we have to prepare the game without Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge,” the manager affirmed.
The clash will also see Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino make a return to Germany, having spent four years at Hoffenheim before his £29 million move to join the Reds back in 2015. Besides Firmino, it will also be interesting to see how new signing Mohamed Salah faces a club known for its tough defence.
A return to the Champions league is crucial for Liverpool and they will face a tough side in the form of Hoffenheim. They are reputed to have a strong defence, thus making Sadio Mane a crucial player in the squad for Klopp. The young Dominic Solanke has also been included, and it will be interesting to see if he features in the game.