Jurgen Klopp provided plenty to consider ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with Everton, with Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk and injuries the key talking points.
Here are five key points from Klopp’s pre-Everton press conference from Kirkby:
No further derby explanation
Klopp has not been shy in his views of the Merseyside derby edging over the line regarding physicality, one only need to look at injuries to Divock Origi, Thiago and Virgil van Dijk for such examples.
His words are often taken out of context and so when asked to elaborate on his recent comments, the manager was quick to the point.
“Nope, because you are all not able to write it in a proper way. I said what I said.”
Van Dijk’s Goodison Return
Speaking of the result of such physicality, Wednesday will mark Virgil van Dijk‘s return to Goodison Park, the scene of his knee injury and the manager is confident his defender will safely navigate the fixture.
“We are all human beings, so probably pretty hard to ignore that. It’s a situation that should not happen in football, I’ve not seen once since then,” Klopp said.
“It should have been different [after], but it does not matter anymore. It can happen and it’s unlucky.
“Virgil is very experienced, he has experiences of being in challenges and he just has to be completely free in his mind. Same place, but different football game.”
‘Nothing to lose’?!
Fancy asking if Liverpool have nothing to lose in the derby simply due to Rafa Benitez currently standing on shaky ground as Everton boss.
Well, that’s exactly what was posed to Klopp…
“Nothing to lose, I don’t know if you can see it like that,” Klopp answered back. “There are three points at stake and we try to get them. We just try to win it.”
Closer but no new returns
Naby Keita, Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones and Roberto Firmino will continue to play no part for Liverpool but the former pair are edging ever closer to a training return next week.
“Everyone came through [the weekend] well, as far as I know,” Klopp explained.
“All the boys are getting closer, especially Joe is not too far away from team training, Naby not too far from team training.
“Bobby probably needs another week to do more football stuff and with Curtis it is out of our hands.
He’s completely fine, he’s doing what he’s allowed to do. We have to wait until the doctors give us a green light.”
Salah and the Ballon d’Or
Mohamed Salah laughably finished seventh in the Ballon d’Or on Monday night, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and it was met, rightly, by a lot of bemusement.
And Klopp too was “surprised” by the ranking of his No. 11.
“Yes, I was surprised, to be honest. It’s not in my hands. Is it journalists who vote? Then don’t ask me, then it’s your fault!
“You can always give it to Lionel Messi for his career, but if you don’t give it Lewandowski this time it’s difficult to give him at all. But Mo should have been higher up.”