Away goals & Diaz praise – 5 key things from Klopp’s pre-Inter press conference

Jurgen Klopp discussed Jordan Henderson‘s fitness, talked up a reunion at the San Siro and praised Luis Diaz ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League trip to Inter Milan.

Here are five key things from Klopp’s pre-Inter press conference…


“No issues” for Hendo

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 20, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson shakes hands with manager Jurgen Klopp as he is substituted during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0, 2-0 on aggregate. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a dismal performance upon his return from a back injury at Burnley, there has been concern over Jordan Henderson‘s place in the side going forward.

But Klopp has insisted there are “no issues” with his captain’s fitness, and even deduced that the journalist asking if there were any underlying problems was “hiding something” in his question.

Put simply, the manager is aware of the debate over Henderson’s form, but there is no suggestion at this point that he will be dropping him.


Away goal talk

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - Monday, December 13, 2021: The official Adidas match ball for the knock-out stages and finals of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League, pictured in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where the final will be played at the Krestovsky Stadium. (Credit: Adidas)

This season brings a big change to the knockout stages of the Champions League, with UEFA abolishing the away goals rule that gave visiting sides an incentive to attack.

It has been a key factor behind the excitement of Europe’s top-tier tournament, and getting rid of it has proved controversial.

However, while Klopp admitted he “liked the rule” and “doesn’t know why exactly they scrapped it,” he added that there would be no “massive impact” on Liverpool as “we go there to get a result” regardless.


Expect changes

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 13, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A last-16 clash at the San Siro is likely to see Klopp favour experience in his side, but he has accepted the need for “fresh legs” as he presides over a fully fit squad.

“If I have the opportunity to make more changes, that’s how it is,” he explained.

“That means I cannot just play always the same lineup just because we won the last game.”


Klopp’s reunion

13.09.2011, Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, GER, UEFA CL, Gruppe F, Borussia Dortmund (GER) vs Arsenal London (ENG), im Bild.Torjubel / Jubel Ivan Perisic (Dortmund #14)..// during the UEFA CL, group F, Borussia Dortmund (GER) vs Arsenal London on 2011/09/13, at Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany. EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Mueller ****** out of GER / CRO / BEL ******

Wednesday night will see Klopp reunited with a former player in Ivan Perisic, who played under the German at Borussia Dortmund, and the Liverpool boss was full of praise.

“I worked together with him. We were very successful, we won the double in Germany,” the explained.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting him [again]. I like Ivan Perisic a lot.”


More Diaz praise!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 6th, 2022: Liverpool's new signing Luis Díaz during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is unclear whether Klopp will restore Luis Diaz to his starting lineup after leaving him unused at Turf Moor at the weekend, but the manager was again asked about his role.

“His joy and his love for football is so obvious,” he said.

“When I see him training, he cannot stop smiling – I’ve never had a player like this, it’s crazy!

“We are so, so happy to have him here, it’s absolutely great. We expect a lot from him in the future. Now already, but in the future as well.

“I have a good feeling it will be a really nice story with Luis at Liverpool.”