Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp might be forced into making a change when his team set out to face off against PSG on Tuesday night.
Liverpool will begin their 2018-19 UEFA Champions League journey in the Group C encounter against reigning French champions Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield.
The Reds are off to a brilliant start to the new season, winning all five of their Premier League fixtures, scoring eleven goals and conceding just two in the process. And manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his wards are able to translate that form into Europe’s premier footballing competition, when Les Parisiens come visiting to Anfield.
There are a few injury concerns for the German tactician heading into the game though, as defender Dejan Lovren and midfielder Adam Lallana remain sidelined for the home team, while former Arsenal man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains a long-term absentee.
However, the biggest blow for the Merseysiders is that Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino may miss the match due to an eye injury he picked up in the Reds’ 2-1 weekend triumph against Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking of the attacker’s situation in his pre-match press conference, Klopp said: “No idea, to be honest. He is much better. We all saw the picture and we were massively worried. But all these worries are away so he will be fine. If he will be fine for tomorrow, I don’t know in the moment.
“We are obviously in close contact with him and it improved already – but in this moment I can’t say if he will be available for tomorrow.”
Liverpool will go into the game with summer signing Alisson Becker between the sticks, with the back four of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson, that has performed so admirably so far this season, expected to be intact.
Club captain Jordan Henderson has seen game time reduce significantly in the ongoing campaign with Gini Wijnaldum impressing heavily in the No.6 role. The Dutchman is expected to feature once again as the deepest of the three midfielders for Liverpool, with the ever-present James Milner and midfield dynamo Naby Keita expected to take up the other two slots.
The doubts over Firmino’s availability open up a space in attack for Liverpool. However, the Reds will also be without fellow forwards Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke, who picked up injuries during an U-23s assignment, the manager revealed.
Speaking in his press conference, Klopp said: “Unfortunately yes, we have new injury concerns. It’s not too serious. Div has a little bit of an ankle [injury]. He tried this morning and didn’t really work out too well, so he will try again tomorrow morning. With Dom, we have to see. He got a knock and we will see how that develops.”
That leaves Klopp with Daniel Sturridge as the only option to spearhead the attack for his team, when PSG come visiting.
Last season’s leading goalscorer Mohamed Salah did not look at his best in the win over Tottenham and will be hoping to change that against PSG on Tuesday night. He will hold on to his spot on the right-side of the attacking trident, while Senegalese speedster Sadio Mane is expected to feature from the opposite flank.