Jurgen Klopp touched on the form of both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane ahead of Man United‘s trip to Anfield, while also paying tribute to the efforts of his entire squad.
Here are four key points from the manager as he spoke to the media ahead of Tuesday’s game:
Mane doesn’t need Diaz competition
Sadio Mane scored two brilliant goals on the weekend and is quietly putting together another impressive season, but the manager refuted suggestions that Luis Diaz‘s arrival caused a change.
“I’ve known Sadio nearly six years, as far as I know him he’s never needed any competition to try to be the best version of himself,” the boss said.
“Played for a long time pretty much all games for us, and performed at an incredibly high level consistently.
“I’m not sure bringing in Luis affected that part of his game, and it was not the reason to bring in Luis – but playing in the centre obviously suits Sadio very well.”
He has battled with fatigue but Klopp noted against City that he looked like “Sadio physically” once more.
No worries for Mo
With an 11-game struggle to score from open play, Mohamed Salah‘s form is drawing attention but Klopp is not concerned, with it only a matter of time before he scores No. 29 of the season.
“It’s a completely normal spell that Mo is going through. We’ve spoken about all the physical demands he’s faced in the last few months. It’s completely normal.
“It is only a question of time when he will score as well.”
With seven goals against United in nine appearances, we’ll happily take his eighth or more on Tuesday!
One of the first fixtures to look for
Any game against Man United is a big one and Tuesday is to be the 16th time Klopp has faced them as Liverpool manager and he knows his players have learnt to handle the emotions the fixture evokes.
With five wins and seven draws, Klopp knows “big fights” often ensue and his players need to be ready for another even if Man United‘s form dictates otherwise.
“When they do the fixture list, it’s one of the first I look for – which time around.
“It’s a massive game, two of the biggest clubs in the world I would say. Maybe two clubs in Spain would say it differently but two of the biggest clubs for sure.
“Massive history, big fights in the past and big fights since I’ve been here.”
And as for his relationship with Ralf Rangnick, it is “on hold” for the time being as they meet for the first time outside of Germany.
Any success is a credit to the whole squad
With the Reds enjoying a fit and healthy squad, it means hard decisions are made at the selection table for the matchday squad.
And as always, Klopp had an important word on how important each and every player will be to any success Liverpool have this season – irrespective of their number of appearances.
“Our situation is clear, some were not in the squad on the weekend and will not be tomorrow who are in really good shape.
“If we achieve anything this year, whatever it will be, it will be about how all the boys deal with the situation.
“That means the boys who are not in the squad from time to time, they keep the training quality at an extremely high level. Credit to them, outstanding.”