Jurgen Klopp has provided an assessment of his squad options ahead of Saturday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur, with positive news on Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi.
Firmino suffered a hamstring injury before the international break, while Origi and Christian Benteke were both forced to pull out of the Belgium squad with thigh and knee problems respectively.
With Danny Ings sidelined for the rest of the season, this left Klopp with something of a selection dilemma as Liverpool welcome Spurs to Anfield, with Daniel Sturridge his only fit striker.
But while Sturridge came through the international break unscathed, Klopp will be buoyed by the return of Origi – and a possible comeback for Firmino.
Speaking to reporters on Friday afternoon, Klopp revealed that Origi had joined his squad for full training on Thursday, while his backroom staff would need to “make a decision” on Firmino’s fitness.
“The dilemma’s not too big!” he said, when asked about the possibility of a welcome selection headache for Saturday.
“No big things changed in a positive way. [There were] smaller or bigger problems with the Belgian international players.
“Divock Origi couldn’t play for Belgium because of a little muscle issue – he’s back in training since yesterday, so he’s available.
“[It is] completely different with Christian Benteke, in this moment he’s not available.
“We have to wait for further assessments to know exactly how long it would be.
“Roberto Firmino it will be close, we have to make a decision. Maybe tomorrow or not, we will see.
“[There are] another 24 hours, but we cannot bring pressure in this situation.
“That’s it, nothing’s really changed in a positive way. Most of the players came back healthy, that’s good.”
While Sturridge is likely to start on Saturday against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, Origi will provide welcome backup from the substitutes’ bench.
The future of Benteke remains shrouded in doubt, with the 25-year-old’s Liverpool future coming under further question during the international break after he lamented his squad role under Klopp at Liverpool.
Now injured, with no target set for his return, Benteke’s opportunities seem limited for 2015/16 – it may transpire that the former Aston Villa man has played his last game for Liverpool.