Klopp faces anxious wait over Firmino fitness as title race hots up
The Brazil international missed the Reds’ 5-0 victory over Huddersfield.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp faces an anxious wait – not over the outcome of Manchester City’s result at Burnley on Sunday but the fitness of Roberto Firmino.
The Brazil international missed the 5-0 victory over Huddersfield with a minor muscle tear and he is a doubt for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg in Barcelona.
“The official diagnosis (is) he has a small tear in a very small muscle. Apart from the word ‘tear’, everything is positive,” said Klopp.
“It’s Bobby, so he might be ready for Wednesday but we don’t know obviously in the moment.
“Because it’s him, it’s more likely than not but we will see. Of all the badness you can get, it’s pretty much the best, but it’s still bad enough that he couldn’t play (against Huddersfield).”
That victory took Liverpool back to the top of the table and restored their two-point advantage over City, who face a potentially tricky trip to Turf Moor.
It lifted the Reds to 91 points and it is remarkable to think they could finish the season with 97 points, the Premier League’s two leading goalscorers – Mohamed Salah took his tally to 21 and Sadio Mane 20 as both scored twice against the Terriers – and potentially the PFA Player of the Year in Virgil Van Dijk and still not win the title.
But Klopp insists he is not losing too much sleep over that.
“OK, 91 points, it’s crazy. In the end, we cannot do more than win these games and that’s what we did so far and what we try to do again,” added Klopp.
“Why should we think where City could slip or not? If we do, the job in these two (remaining) games and something happens in the other games, then we are there.
“If not, then we still did our best, our 100 per cent best and that’s the only thing we can expect from us.
“You cannot ask for luck, you cannot ask for destiny, you have to work for it and then the rest around happens, and that’s exactly what we do.
“I wasn’t 100 per cent sure what happens when United played City and I came into training the next morning and the mood was exactly like before, really good.
“Nothing changed. We had to watch it because we didn’t play and there was a really good football game on telly, so we watched it but it’s nothing to do with us really.
“It’s like it is: if we can have 97 then let’s go for it and then, we see.
“It’s still history (it will be Liverpool’s best Premier League points haul), we said we wanted to create our own history, that’s what we try, that’s what the boys did.
“These boys are outstanding, that’s the reason why we are where we are, now let’s carry on and we will see where it ends.”