In what has been a cruel week for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp is now left with the bare bones of a frontline to pick from as The Reds try to overturn a 3-0 deficit when they face Barcelona at Anfield tonight.
On Monday, we had the news confirmed that both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were out of Tuesday night’s return leg against Lionel Messi and co.
Speaking about the injuries of Salah and Firmino at his pre-game press conference, Klopp said:
“Both are not available for tomorrow.
“It’s a concussion [for Salah], so that means he would not even be allowed to play. That’s it, that’s all.
“He feels OK, but it is not good enough from a medical point of view, that’s all. He is desperate and everything, but we cannot do it. That’s it.”
Then further reports on Monday gave Reds fans even more cause for concern as it was revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Virgil van Dijk were both absent from the team training session.
The good news was that it appears it was only a case of workload management for both players as they were undertaking their own bespoke training procedures and should be available for tonight’s squad.
Liverpool’s injury problems in the attacking third mean the door has been opened for youngster Rhian Brewster to take his place in the squad.
The 19-year-old striker was the top scorer in the Under-17 World Cup finals in 2017 with 8 goals in just 6 games for England. He managed two hat-tricks along the way as he helped his country to the title, also scoring England’s first goal in the final against Spain.
Klopp was hugely positive when asked about the possibility of Brewster being involved at some stage against Barcelona.
“Yes, there is a big chance. It’s nearly sure. It’s guaranteed.
“He’s ready. The situations are always like this. In an ideal world, in a season you always have much more players than you can involve in a squad.
“Rhian has now arrived with us after being heavily injured. Day by day, he has got better and better. He has been in outstanding shape for the last three or four weeks but the other players were there as well.”
The Liverpool boss also highlighted the fact that Brewster will be expected to play a huge part in next season’s Liverpool squad, making the step up to regular first-team action.
“Next season he will be playing 100 per cent and he knows that. I have told him already.
“It’s just good so now it’s really nice in a difficult situation that we can give him that spot in the squad and have him there to bring on as a striker. When you’re on the bench, you are an option to play.”
Predicted Liverpool lineup against Barcelona tonight: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson(c), Milner; Shaqiri, Mané, Origi
To read our in-depth Liverpool v Barcelona match preview, click here.
For the most in-depth tactical and statistical analysis regarding Liverpool FC sign up now! The original home of Pressing Stats, Anfield Index also brings you the latest views from club legends such as Jan Molby.
Hear from the UK’s top journalists, managers, professionals, sports scientists, physios and sports psychologists as we bring you the ultimate LFC fan experience provided on approximately 30 podcasts every month for our AI:Pro listeners!!
Enjoy all this and more for just £4.99 per month at Anfield Index Pro!!