Emerging Liverpool favourite Xherdan Shaqiri will be keeping his fingers crossed that boss Jurgen Klopp can fit him in to the starting line-up for the Kop giants’ vital home clash in the Premier League against Cardiff City tomorrow (Saturday).
Swiss dynamo Shaqiri, who was recruited by German coach Klopp in the summer from Stoke City after the Potters were relegated, has delivered two dazzling displays in the Reds’ previous games which have handed the side a win at Huddersfield and a triumph over Red Star Belgrade at Anfield midweek.
Now the Merseysdiers are on the verge of going to the summit of the top-flight table if they can overcome Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds. With current table-toppers Manchester City having to wait until Monday night to play (when they go to Wembley to face Tottenham Hostpur), Klopp’s men can sit pretty as league leaders if they secure three points.
And the question, certainly on the lips of a whole host of Liverpool pundits and supporters alike, is, ‘will Shaqiri be part of the team’? There are calls that he should definitely feature after his assist for the goal that gave the Reds a win over the Terriers last week. The diminutive attacker then followed up that performance with one of note against the Serbians. The victory handed Liverpool top spot in the Champions League Group C table.
And whether or not he starts against the Welsh outfit, Shaqiri is happy to accept the praise afforded him by Klopp who has used the plaudit “genius” to describe him. And Shaqiri said:
“I just want to say ‘thank you’ for that. It is a game where I am trying my best to give him good performances. I need to try to keep going.
“I think I have the quality and vision to give good passes and you can see that I wanted to give another good performance. I am enjoying the football here and you can see that on the pitch. The most important thing is to win as a team and the game was brilliant from everyone.”
On his best position for the club, Shaqiri said:
“Sometimes it is not simple because the manager changes a few things but you have to do your best. You can see on the pitch we have a lot of good players and creativity and together we can line up very well. I am proud to have started in the Champions League.”
Meanwhile, Samba ace Roberto Firmino says he is keen to help replicate Liverpool’s pulsating attacking play after the win over Red Star. The game was won with goals from the Brazilian, Sadio Mane and a brace from Mo Salah.
And Firmino says if all three attackers can click more often trophies can’t be far away. He said:
“Our aim is of course to win a trophy, not just the Premier League but every competition in which we’re taking part. This is always our mindset – to always be fighting to win trophies.”