Jurgen Klopp spoke to assembled journalists ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League tie against Red Star to discuss squad selection issues and more.
The manager was in good spirits in Belgrade as he faced the media, covering such topics as team selection, Xherdan Shaqiri‘s absence and the hostile atmosphere which is expected to be in store for the Reds.
Klopp was adamant that his side would be fully focused on football matters, alluding to not wanting the “story” of the match to be anything else—hence leaving Shaqiri out of the travelling party.
Asked if the Swiss attacker had accepted the decision, Klopp affirmed there was no problem with the No. 23.
“Yes [Shaqiri agreed with the decision]. So far in my career the players always accepted it,” Klopp said.
“We had this statement on the club website, everyone who can read knows it already. We represent one of biggest football clubs in the world and that’s why we’re here, to play football.”
Regarding team news, Klopp was his usual guarded self, simply telling one journalist to “wait until tomorrow” when asked if he would rotate his squad.
There was good news regarding Naby Keita, though, who has made the journey to Serbia.
“Keita trained yesterday for the first time with the team, but he was at 100 percent before Arsenal, just [the rest of the squad] wasn’t there,” he said.
“I’ll make a decision tomorrow [on his involvement]. It’s great to have him back for the upcoming weeks.”
Elsewhere, Klopp named Sevilla as the most hostile away ground he has ever been to, and acknowledged he had not spoken with former assistant Zeljko Buvac about the Red Star game.