6 key things from Jurgen Klopp’s pre-Palace press conference

Player availability and rotation dominated discussion for Jurgen Klopp as his side get set to play their third game in six days as Crystal Palace arrive at Anfield on Saturday.

Here are 6 key things the boss told the media and supporters in his press conference on Friday:


1. Nothing to say on Salah contract

The Reds have been eagerly tying up new deals for their key pillars but Mohamed Salah‘s signature has yet to be put to paper, prolonging talk over his future.

But while he had previously insisted Jordan Henderson‘s was one that would get done, Klopp was quick to say that right now he’s only interested in his application.

With four goals and two assists in five games, we think Klopp is right in saying he’s “spot on.”

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“There’s nothing really to say, especially from me, I am not involved. Obviously, I am interested in how sharp he looks and how committed he is.

“He’s spot on. He looks really good. There is nothing else to say.”


2. Firmino unavailable, Origi a chance

The Brazilian has yet to feature since suffering a hamstring injury against Chelsea and with a return to team training only set for later next week, he is “not ready” for Palace.

Cramp forced Divock Origi from the field against Milan but the Reds will “have to see what that means for tomorrow.”


3. Will not always be a case of rotating Van Dijk

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 14, 2021: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (L) chats with manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC MIlan. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Protecting one’s prized asset is more than understandable and after a lengthy period on the sidelines, Van Dijk is being treated with the utmost care as was shown in mid-week.

And while Klopp has been honest in his need to manage minutes, he doesn’t see it as a long-term move for a player who pre-injury started every league and Champions League game.

“I would rather say it is a short-term thing, we are still in an extended pre-season, especially for him. He was completely fine, he could have played [against Milan] definitely but it was me, I want to be sensible in these moments.

“It will not always be like that [rotating Virgil], but I think early in the season it was the right thing to do.”


4. A normal, but tough run

This is the position the Reds want to be in, but expect changes once again at Anfield as Liverpool look to keep things fresh and maintain their momentum.

“This one is normal for us, three games a week. Playing Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday is a tough one so you have to think about these kinds of things.

“We came through [so far] and the boys did really well. We will have to make changes again. That is clear.”


5. Matip’s quality is clear!

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's Joel Matip during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The No. 32 has turned back time so far this season as a mainstay at the back, with his forays forward a delight to watch.

An underrated figure and Klopp got straight to the point by saying, “I cannot help people who don’t see the quality of Joel Matip!”

Hard to disagree with the boss and now we all have our fingers crossed that his woes are firmly behind him.

“He was unlucky with injuries. He’s tall and it can look a bit edgy but he’s always been incredible for us.”


6. Palace and a “proper football-playing” style

Patrick Vieira will arrive with his team in tow at Anfield for the first time as Palace manager and Klopp is expecting a tough test.

“A decent team with a proper football-playing idea, it’s a change and they will do well. But we have to do well as well.”

Once a bogey team, the Reds have won the last eight dating back to 2017, with an aggregate score of 24-5 – now to make it nine from nine!