Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool’s injury problems ‘changed everything’ this season and has provided an update on his side’s fitness issues ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.
Liverpool return to Champions League action with the first leg of their last-16 tie against Leipzig tomorrow evening, the Reds heading into the clash in poor form following a run of just two wins from their previous 10 league fixtures.
Defeat at Leicester on Saturday was the champion’s third consecutive Premier League loss and Klopp conceded his side’s title hopes were over following the defeat at the King Power Stadium, Liverpool now 13 points behind Manchester City having played a game more.
Liverpool’s defensive options have been ravaged with long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, whilst summer signing Diogo Jota saw an impressive debut season on Merseyside halted after picking up a knee injury in December.
Klopp has opened up on his side’s faltering form and admits his side’s injury problems have drastically altered the dynamic of their season, with Liverpool now facing a fight to secure a top four finish in the Premier League.
“All the weeks and months you can see easily it is a mix of different things that happened. Now is not the time to explain,” Klopp told his pre-match press conference.
“Injuries have played part in it, you can’t ignore them, it changed everything.
“Its like building a house, if the foundations are not right things are a bit shaky.
“We cannot change things but we will work on it.”
Klopp also provided an update on the fitness of his players with Naby Keita – who has been absent since December – having returned to training following his latest problem, though the clash with former side Leipzig will come too soon for the midfielder.
Ben Davies and Divock Origi also took part in training for Liverpool after missing the defeat at Leicester on Saturday, though James Milner and Fabinho were notable absentees.
“Naby is no longer injured but he’s not fit yet,” Klopp added.
“He was in training yesterday but it’s not sufficient yet. We will be away for two days and he will be in training; it’s better than flying with us. Of course Naby would have liked to be there when it’s against [former club] Leipzig.
“In terms of injuries, we all have to go through these difficulties and once that’s behind you, we’ll have another absolutely great player.”