Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hopeful of having star striker Mohamed Salah available for Tuesday’s clash against Manchester City.
Liverpool will look to drive home their advantage and make it through to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in ten years, when they meet Manchester City in the second leg of their last-eight tie.
The Reds are placed in a very strong position, having beaten Pep Guardiola’s brigade 3-0 at the Anfield last week and Klopp will be hoping that his side will be able to finish off the job at the Etihad on Tuesday.
Ahead of the game, the German tactician confirmed that youth prodigy Ben Woodburn was fit again after a spell out on the sidelines, while also shedding light on the fitness status of several other players including star man Mohamed Salah and full-backs Andrew Robertson and Alberto Moreno.
The trio had missed the Merseyside derby this past weekend, but Klopp was hopeful that they will be available for selection against City. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said:
“With Mo, Robbo and Alberto, we have to wait a little bit but of course [we have] big hope they will be back.”
Loris Karius has been in brilliant form between the sticks and will once again guard the goal for the Merseysiders against the Citizens.
Trent Alexander-Arnold had a splendid game in the first leg and will once again get the nod at right-back, while Roberston is expected to return at left-back for the game. Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren should once again pair up in defence with Joel Matip out for the season.
The Reds have been dealt a major blow in the midfield department as club captain Jordan Henderson will sit out of the game due to suspension because of accumulation of yellow cards. Klopp will also be unable to call upon German international Emre Can (back) and Adam Lallana (muscle) for the trip to the Etihad.
In Henderson’s absence, James Milner is expected to take over the mantle of the defensive midfield role with support being provided by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored a spectacular goal in the reverse fixture, and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Salah’s fitness was a major cause of concern, but the 25-year old was spotted training with the rest of the team and is expected to be ready for action. He will slot in on the right-side of the attacking trident and look to add to his tally of 39 goals for the season.
On the opposite wing, Senegalese attacker Sadio Mane will retain his spot in the starting XI, while Roberto Firmino, who was benched for the derby over the weekend, is guaranteed to return into the lineup as well.