Liverpool have confirmed that a strong squad of 23 will head to Barcelona for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.
The Reds trained on Tuesday morning and, with the exception of Adam Lallana, the entire senior squad was fit and involved.
That included returns for Roberto Firmino and Fabinho after missing Friday’s match against Huddersfield through injury, as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came through his first appearance of the season unscathed.
Jurgen Klopp has named every player fit in the travelling squad, giving himself as many options as possible for the critical game.
The boss himself will hold a press conference this evening from 7pm BST, looking ahead to the game.
He’ll no doubt be most-thoroughly questioned on the fitness of Firmino, who will be a key part of the tactical plan if ready to start. Klopp won’t take gambles though and told LiverpoolFC.com that no decision had been taken yet.
“We all knew from the beginning it would be a race. We don’t have to make a decision today because there’s no game today, we can wait. It looked good so far but until tomorrow I have to make that decision – after lunchtime tomorrow. That’s what I will do.
“It’s so important [for the players to have a break]. This is now the most intense period of a long, long season because we now have three games in six days and we need to think about different things.
“Of course, with the opponents we have it’s difficult. But the boys are all in good shape so we will use as many as possible.
“The first small step [for Oxlade-Chamberlain] – which was very nice and important – was against Huddersfield so we will see what the next one is for him. [There has been no negative reaction], he trained completely normally.”
Aside from the No. 9’s involvement, the boss has a key decision to make in midfield as usual, with the likes of Gini Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson all showing good form of late—while Fabinho has been excellent for months.
Rhian Brewster and Caoimhin Kelleher will expect to have a watching brief, while there will not be bench places available for all three of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno as defensive options, showcasing the depth available to Klopp.
On Brewster’s inclusion, Klopp explained how he had one eye on the future.
“He is the next really exciting prospect. If you see him training…next season will be his season, his first real season.
“He worked a lot and the training session today was, to be honest, pretty impressive. He is with us, he is our player and we want to have him around. In this case I thought, ‘Come on, it’s Barcelona, let’s give him a first sniff.’”
Liverpool squad to face Barcelona
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Mignolet, Kelleher
Defenders: Van Dijk, Matip, Gomez, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Moreno
Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Forwards: Salah, Mane, Firmino, Origi, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Brewster