Klopp eyes Naby once more as Liverpool look to secure Champions League spot

FOL Champions League

Liverpool can do no wrong when it comes to the Premier League. They are unbeaten in the top-flight campaign thus far and are surely on course to lift their first crown of the new era. Rampant best describes Jurgen Klopp’s mighty men at the minute — just ask Eddie Howe and his AFC Bournemouth players who were very much handed a footballing lesson at Dean Court with the Anfield giants leaving the south coast with an easy three points after chalking up a 3-0 win to maintain their position at the summit.

Once again German coach Klopp, who let us not forget steered the Merseysiders to Champions League triumph last time of asking, made several changes to his side that swept aside the Cherries. it seems that even from the bench, the league leaders have so much strength and quality that the head coach can afford to tinker with his side. It’s a squad game after all, is what they tell you these days.

And no doubt the faces will change again on Tuesday night when Liverpool go to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria keen to snaffle the point they need to rubber-stamp their progress to the last 16. They have not been so dominant in Europe and the fact remains they If they lose they will be out of the competition; out, that is unless Italians Napoli also are defeated at home to Genk — or that Klopp’s team grab four away goals or more and only lose by one goal (for example a 5-4 reverse). All of that is irrelevant if the visitors pick up a win on the road as they will then go through as group winners.

Klopp will more than likely give midfielder Naby Keita more game time in the match. The £50million midfielder has struggled to get among the action since his switch from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2018. But he came on against Howe’s side on Saturday has delivered an influential performance — and a goal!

And Klopp was full of praise for the schemer and his ability to listen to reason as to why he wasn’t being selected. He said: “Naby has had injuries and the team is in very good shape, so then do you change?” asked Klopp. “We are not flying, it’s not like we won all of the games 4-0, or 5-0, so we had to bring on a player who helps us with defending set-pieces. Then Naby is sitting outside thinking, ‘why don’t I play?’ I get all of that. So, we stayed in contact, we talked and we spoke a lot about it.”

Liverpool host woeful Watford in the Premier League on Saturday after their midweek European excursion.


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