Jurgen Klopp is intent on ‘attacking’ the second leg against Inter on Tuesday as he provided welcome injury news ahead of another important night under the Anfield lights.
Liverpool vs. Inter Milan
Champions League Last-16 Second Leg | Anfield
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 | 8pm (GMT)
Here are five key points from the boss as Liverpool look to secure their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Welcome injury news!
The Reds were without Joel Matip, Thiago and Roberto Firmino over the weekend but the trio are to be in contention to return for Inter’s visit.
“I think all trained yesterday, full. So not sure yet what we make of that exactly, to be honest, as we have to see how they react,” Klopp said.
While Firmino may need extra training days to take up the intensity after a couple of weeks out of action, Thiago and Matip are likely to be back in the squad on Tuesday.
Just the news we wanted to hear!
The Mo sub
Mohamed Salah did not cut the happiest of figures when subbed off against West Ham and you wouldn’t have expected him to with the game still in the balance and such is his competitive nature.
But there is no need to make a mountain out of a molehill with Klopp simply having looked for fresh legs when he had the chance, not forgetting the intense year Salah has experienced.
“Usually you leave Mo on because he’s obviously that desperate to score a goal,” Klopp explained.
“Mo always defends until the end. We just had the opportunity to bring on a fresh player in Diogo Jota. No further reason.”
Klopp and Pep
Pep Guardiola and Klopp have been trading niceties in recent weeks, with the City boss the latest to claim that Liverpool are his “toughest opponent” ever.
And presented with the comments, Klopp somewhat returned them in kind as he continued to insist that Liverpool and City push each other to “insane levels” each and every year.
“Yeah, I can give that [Pep’s comments] back,” he said with a laugh. “I could say City is the toughest opponent I ever had but I should not forget I faced him at Bayern and I cannot say it was much easier.
“I know what he means, we pushed each other to insane levels – the amount of points the two teams collected.
“I don’t think City would get the amount of points they will get this year if we were not around, and the other way around is pretty much the same. A lot of games to play.”
No time to sit back!
Liverpool may have a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg but Klopp and co. are not resting on their laurels, intent to attack the tie rather than to defend what they already have.
“Inter don’t come here as tourists, they want to chase the game.
“That’s what we want to do – because we are not a team that defends results, we want to attack the game again.”
Sounds like a plan, boss!
Another plea for 5 subs
He has been one of the biggest supporters of the introduction of the ‘five sub’ rule and while many look at it as an advantage for the big clubs, for player welfare it is key.
And in the midst of another taxing schedule, Klopp again stressed the change he wants to see.
“Playing Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday and then Tuesday is a horrible schedule.
“If we can make changes on decisive positions, like the machine room, midfield, and these kinds of things, then it’s possible [to maintain form]. If not, then not.
“Maybe I start out of the blue with it, but it’s essential that, at one point, we go again for the five subs in the Premier League.
“It is because we have three competitions where we have five subs and one we don’t have that.”
Now to see who listens and does not simply ridicule.