The Reds travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to face Manchester City in an early Premier League kickoff, and their manager claims that players have been feeling ill this week
Jurgen Klopp claims that Liverpool’s players have been sick ahead of their Premier League match against Manchester City.
During his press conference on Friday afternoon, Klopp revealed the fitness status of several members of his squad, saying that they had suffered from “stomach bugs” during the international break, but that they had cleared up in time for the game at the Etihad Stadium.
“Naby is out,” he said of midfielders Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara. He returned from the national team with a muscle injury. We’ll have to wait and see how long it takes.
“Thiago is doing well, but he is not yet participating in team training.” He will most likely participate in training next week. Rhys Williams possesses a little bit of everything. We had a few stomach bugs, but that was about two days ago.”
The fact that the bouts of illness appear to be over will be music to Klopp’s ears, as the game comes at the start of a busy week for Liverpool, which also faces Chelsea on Tuesday and hosts leaders Arsenal next Sunday.
“We are not stupid. We all know the last game against [Real] Madrid wasn’t a good game, the one before that against Bournemouth wasn’t a good game, and the one before that [the 7-0 win over Manchester United] was world class. We must continue from there and respond to the other two games.”
On City in particular, he added: “This is a crucial game. That’s the only thing that hasn’t changed from previous years. We know it’s going to be a big game and a big week. They deserve our full attention tomorrow; we can’t think about the other games.”
City manager Pep Guardiola has been cautious about the fitness of his star striker Erling Haaland ahead of the game, but Klopp says he isn’t concerned whether or not the Norwegian plays.
“Not a lot,” he said.
“When you prepare for a game, you prepare everything to avoid the final pass, which is where Erling comes into play. He is a proper striker, but they won the championship without him. That’s the way it is; you never know for sure who can play.”
Klopp confirmed that the game has come too soon for Colombian winger Luis Diaz despite his return to training, but Darwin Nunez is set to feature after overcoming a foot injury.
“Luis has returned to training in small doses. “It’s great to have him back, but he won’t be training with us today,” he said.
“This week marked the return to team training. We will increase it next week. It looks really promising, we’re in the final stages.
“Darwin was unable to train for two or three days this week, but he did train yesterday.” He’s back in the running.”