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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Injuries bite for Liverpool, but Klopp backs youngsters

By Reuters
February 21, 2024

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says he trusts his youngsters to step up as the club faces a mounting injury toll ahead of Wednesday’s home clash against Luton Town in the Premier League.

German football manager Jürgen Klopp can be seen in this image. — AFP/File
German football manager Jürgen Klopp can be seen in this image. — AFP/File

Leaders Liverpool will be without Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones for the Anfield game and Darwin Nunez is a doubt after all three were injured in last weekend’s win at Brentford. On top of that they are also missing goalkeeper Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dominik Szoboszlai and Thiago Alcantara.

“I would like to say we have no issues, but we have some. Not available Alisson, that’s a muscle injury where we do not know how long it will take but definitely not in the foreseeable time coming back,” Klopp told reporters on Tuesday.

“Then we have Diogo with a knee issue and is ruled out. Curtis with a bone ligament issue and is ruled out.” With a League Cup final looming against Chelsea this weekend the injuries could not have come at a worse time with Liverpool facing nine games in 30 days.

But Klopp believes the situation will offer more opportunities to the likes of Conor Bradley who impressed in recent call-ups for the first team. “We are where we are because of them. That’s how it is because the boys really delivered. We will have to use and give the opportunity because in a good moment they can all be in,” Klopp said. “We have still options there, definitely.

“Players who showed what they can do like James McConnell or Bobby Clark, Lewis Koumas and Jayden Danns. They are all massive talents, but we will see what we can do.” Jota is the biggest worry with his knee injury likely to keep him out for a considerable amount of time.

“With Diogo it will obviously take months. With Curtis... It’s with the injuries as well you have important days. Day five, day 10 are important days when you judge the situation again because nobody reacts in the same way,” Klopp added.

Liverpool are two points clear at the top of the Premier League although third-placed Manchester City could cut the gap to one point if they beat Brentford later on Tuesday.

Luton dropped into the relegation zone on Monday courtesy of Everton’s draw with Crystal Palace but Klopp is well aware of the threat they can pose.