Liverpool’s Firmino better but still doubt for PSG clash

Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 15, 2018 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino after sustaining an injury to his eye REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates a goal which is later disallowed for offside. Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 15, 2018. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

(Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says striker Roberto Firmino’s eye injury is not as serious as feared but said it was too soon to know if he would be clear to play in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Paris St Germain.

The Brazilian had to be substituted in the second half of his side’s 2-1 Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday after clashing with the hand of opposition defender Jan Vertonghen.

“We all saw the picture and we were massively worried. But all these worries are away so he will be fine. (But) if he will be fine for tomorrow, I don’t know in the moment,” Klopp said on Monday.

“We are obviously in close contact with him and it improved already – but in this moment I can’t say if he will be available for (Tuesday),” he added.

Should Firmino be unable to take his place at centre forward, then Daniel Sturridge is the most likely to take his spot.

Klopp said that forwards Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi were both ruled out for the visit of PSG due to injuries picked up on Sunday playing for the club’s Under-23 team.

Another decision Klopp will have to make is whether to recall Jordan Henderson to central midfield or stick with Naby Keita and Georgino Wijnaldum, who featured in Saturday’s win at Tottenham.

Henderson, who skippered Liverpool last season on their run to the Champions League final, where they lost to Real Madrid, has been given a restricted start to the campaign after returning late to pre-season after the World Cup.

The England international said he had no problem with the selection choices made by Klopp.

“I came back later than everybody else so I can’t expect to come straight back in,” he told a news conference.

“The lads have worked so hard in pre-season. I can see the benefits already. The rhythm they have – they’re at a very, very high level. They’re winning games.

“It’s normal for me that I’m not playing, I can accept it. Just means I have to keep working hard and take my chance when it comes,” he added.

Liverpool have won all five of their Premier League games so far and Henderson said he needed a break after a marathon campaign last season.

“I totally respect the players around us – how well they’re playing – and the manager. He’s always right. I’ve tried to use this period to refresh my body and mind because last season was long.”

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