Jurgen Klopp could be without Emre Can and Trent Alexander-Arnold as Liverpool brace themselves for the visit of Arsenal on Sunday.
Liverpool and Arsenal are set to renew rivalries on Sunday. The two heavyweights have often served up an absolute treat for the neutrals and Sunday is expected to offer more of the same. But, the Reds go into the game without the presence of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana, two players have been key to the club’s fortunes up until last season.
While Lallana is nursing a thigh injury, the transfer saga surrounding Coutinho has seen him being left out of the squad amid reports that the Brazilian has iterated his desire to leave the club and is not willing to take the field for Liverpool till his future gets sorted out.
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Georginio Wijnaldum, though, is expected to return after he was allowed to leave for his homeland for the birth of his third child. Jurgen Klopp would also hope he can have Emre Can and Trent Alexander-Arnold available for Sunday’s clash, with both the players suffering minor issues in the midweek game against Hoffenheim.
The Liverpool boss highlighted, in his pre-match conference, the fact that Emre Can’s injury was a minor issue and expects him to be available for the match against Arsenal.
“Emre twisted a little bit but shouldn’t be that serious. Nothing happened yesterday, so it should be OK.”
The spotlight, though, will be on Liverpool’s new front trio in the absence of Coutinho – Firmino, Salah and Mane. Jurgen Klopp highlighted their influence.
“Sadio has made a big step; being clearer in all the situations, passing in the right moment, dribbling in the right moments, always being a goal threat. He [Firmino] is an unbelievable player, working hard. Everybody speaks about the passing game, but it’s the challenges he makes defensively, chasing them from behind, all over the pitch.”
“You can see Mo is on the way there. [He is] not that used to it, not using the body that much. He’s a different player to Sadio: same speed, but a different player. He played a completely different position last season. He was the second striker at Roma. He is a winger – he can play this. He has defended 500 per cent more already than he did in the whole of last season.”
It will be interesting to see whether the Reds manage to replicate their performance from midweek to continue their unbeaten start to the season.