Jurgen Klopp explains why he dropped Roberto Firmino to bench for Huddersfield win

Roberto Firmino started on the bench at Huddersfield (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he decided to drop Roberto Firmino to the bench at Huddersfield after the forward played 90 minutes for Brazil on Tuesday night.

Daniel Sturridge came in for Firmino and started alongside Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri in attack at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Salah scored the only goal of the game in the 24th minute, ending a four-match barren spell for the Egyptian, and the Reds went level with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

Firmino came on to replace James Milner in the 77th minute but was unable to extend Liverpool’s lead against David Wagner’s men.

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‘The Brazilians came back on Thursday,’ Klopp explained after Liverpool’s win.

‘Bobby [Firmino)] played 90 minutes so it was clear maybe we should not do it this time. Daniel could start as he has not had too many starts this season.’

Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s winner at the John Smith’s Stadium (Picture: Getty)Klopp admitted Liverpool’s performance was far from perfect at Huddersfield but the German was satisfied to come away with three points.

‘It was a good game from Huddersfield and not so good game from us. So we’ll take it,’ he said.

‘I sometimes look frustrated on the touchline even if were winning.

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‘The performance wasn’t 100 per cent it looked like we could have scored in six or seven situations but we needed one better pass.

‘We did lots of good things and then the last pass wasn’t good.’

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Jurgen Klopp claims Fabinho is close to making his full debut for Liverpool

Fabinho is close to making his full debut for Liverpool, claims Jurgen Klopp (AMA/Getty Images)Jurgen Klopp believes Fabinho is ‘close’ to making his full debut for Liverpool ahead of their clash with Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

The Brazilian was signed in a £43.7 million deal from Monaco in the summer but has only played 101 minutes across three substitute appearances for Liverpool.

Asked how close Fabinho is to starting his first Premier League game, Klopp replied: ‘Close.

‘I didn’t see him for 10 days so it’s not the best thing to judge exactly how he is.

‘But very close, he was never far away, that’s how it is.

Fabinho has played only 101 minutes for Liverpool this season (Getty Images)‘He needs to get used to different things, that’s how it is for all the players.

‘I had this situation so often, I don’t like to tell too many old stories but Ilkay Gundogan didn’t play for half a year [when he first signed for Borussia Dortmund].

‘The only difference was he was a young player [signed] from Nurnberg and nobody asked about him.

‘He asked, he was not in the squad, there were a lot of difficult moments.

‘You need to be ready, that’s how it is.

‘At one point I have to make a decision if somebody is ready or not.

Fabinho trained ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Huddersfield (Getty Images)‘We’ve already made the decision if he is the right player for us but now we have to come together.

‘There’s no problem on that side, but I can imagine in that world when everyone asks the you constantly ‘oh, you don’t play’, so the player is not really comfortable.

‘For me I don’t care too much, but I have to explain it.

‘There’s only reason – because other players fit better in the moment. One reason, no other.

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‘I really think a lot about who plays in which position.

‘It’s about the new player to close that gap, it always took time and always will.

‘And when he closes the gap… he’ll go and make us better.’

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Daniel Sturridge impresses Jurgen Klopp enough to earn new Liverpool contract

Daniel Sturridge’s current contract expires at the end of the season (Getty Images)Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is set to extend his stay at Anfield by signing a new long-term contract extension, according to reports.

The 29-year-old’s existing deal is due to expire at the end of the season but the Jurgen Klopp now wants the club to offer him fresh terms following a bright start to the season.

Sturridge’s four goals in nine appearances so far, including two in a week against Chelsea, has seen him force his way into the Liverpool manager’s plans for the season.

According to The Sun, Liverpool will offer the striker an extension on his current £140,000-a-week contract with the deal set to be structured on his appearances following consistent injury issues in recent seasons.

Sturridge has scored four goals in nine appearances so far this season (Getty Images)The player himself has confirmed his intention to remain at Liverpool at least until the end of the season amid suggestions he would leave the club in January.

He told the club’s official website: ‘I’m always trying to push myself to the next level and contribute as best I can to the team to allow us to be successful.

‘It’s important to stay focused throughout the season to get to the end – and hopefully have something to be excited about at the end.’

Sturridge will be in contention to play against Huddersfield this weekend following an injury to Sadio Mane on international duty with Senegal.

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David Wagner suspects Jurgen Klopp will exaggerate Liverpool’s injury concerns

Klopp has several injury concerns ahead of Saturday (Picture: Getty)David Wagner expects Liverpool to field a near full-strength side against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Liverpool are thought to be have a host of injury concerns, as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita all returned from international duty with knocks.

Jurgen Klopp may have to play a significantly weakened side against the Huddersfield, who are currently sitting 18th in the Premier League.

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Huddersfield’s boss Wagner is life-long friends with Klopp and the German suggested his rival would exaggerate any injury concerns Liverpool may have to throw him off.

He said: ‘I have known Jurgen long enough, I know he loves to use smoke screens. I expect that most of his players will be available.’

Wagner and Klopp played together at Mainz before moving into management together.

Wagner and Klopp go way back (Picture: Getty)Many thought Wagner was set to join Klopp’s backroom staff at Liverpool before the 46-year-old took over the top job at Huddersfield in 2015.

Wagner guided the Terriers into the Premier League and then kept Huddersfield in the top flight by finishing in 16th last season.

Liverpool are looking for their first win in four games and aiming to preserve an unbeaten start to their league campaign.

Mane suffered a broken thumb on international duty (Picture: Getty)Salah and Van Dijk are expected to be passed fit to play, but Mane and Keita are considered doubts.

Keita has had scans on a hamstring problem, while Mane needed surgery on a broken thumb on Wednesday.

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Paul Scholes claims Manchester United have copied Liverpool’s mistakes

Jose Mourinho is struggling to find consistency at Manchester United (Action Plus via Getty Images)Paul Scholes believes Manchester United have turned into a laughing stock by copying the mistakes Liverpool made during his time as a player.

United have lost three out of their eight Premier League games so far and a title challenge from Jose Mourinho’s side is looking unlikely.

Meanwhile, Liverpool and Manchester City have enjoyed a strong start to the season and look on course to compete for the title.

During Scholes’ career, both Liverpool and City struggled to to keep up with United who dominated the Premier League under Sir Alex Ferguson.

But the former midfielder believes United have slipped far behind their rivals with poor recruitment and a muddled playing style.

Scholes won 11 Premier League titles during his time at United (Getty Images)‘United now feels like Liverpool from years ago, like we’re making all the same mistakes as they did,’ Scholes told ESPN.

‘We were watching Liverpool and City from afar and smirking as they changed managers and players every year, never getting anything right.

‘It feels like we have turned into a Liverpool or a Man City.

‘I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago.

Scholes believes Liverpool are far ahead of United (Getty Images)More: Football

‘But if you look across the road, they’re doing everything right. They’ve brought the best manager in the world in. They’ve brought staff in to be responsible for signing players. They have a set way of playing every week.

‘Everything becomes easy for them. It becomes easy for the scout who knows that they play 4-3-3 and knows the positions of players and what they’re looking to sign.

‘It’s virtually impossible for a chief scout at Man United to do the same.

‘Whether Jose has a clear way in the future, I don’t know because the form is that bad. United are all over the place.’

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Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita suffers suspected hamstring injury on international duty with Guinea

Naby Keita has suffered a suspected hamstring injury (AMA/Getty Images)Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has suffered a suspected hamstring injury during Guinea’s clash with Rwanda on Tuesday afternoon.

Keita started the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match in Kigali but was forced off in the first half.

And to make matters worse, a stretcher was not available so Keita had to be carried off the field by a teammate.

It’s now unlikely that the £52 million midfielder will be fit for Liverpool’s clash with Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Keita’s injury will provide a further headache for Jurgen Klopp as James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane are all carrying injuries ahead of the game against Huddersfield.

Milner injured his hamstring against Manchester City 10 days ago but reports claim that the midfielder could be available.

Salah was forced off in Egypt’s win over Swaziland last week and has already returned to Liverpool for treatment.

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Mane suffered a broken thumb in training with Senegal’s national team and may miss the game against Huddersfield.

Van Dijk, meanwhile, has been playing with two broken ribs but played and scored in Netherlands’ 3-0 win over Germany on Saturday evening.

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Mohamed Salah will return to Liverpool for injury treatment, confirm Egypt FA

Mohamed Salah is returning to Liverpool for treatment on his injury (AP Photo)Egypt have confirmed that Mohamed Salah will immediately return to Liverpool after suffering an injury against Swaziland on Friday evening.

The 26-year-old scored directly from a corner in Egypt’s 4-1 victory in Cairo but was forced off late on with a suspected thigh injury.

Egypt’s players went through a light training session on Saturday morning but Salah did not participate.

And after initial tests on his injury, Egypt’s Football Association has confirmed that he will now return to Merseyside for further treatment following a decision taken by their head coach Javier Aguirre.

Salah had been due to travel with Egypt’s squad to Swaziland for their Africa Cup of Nations qualification group game on Tuesday.

Salah was forced off in Egypt’s win over Swaziland (beIN Sports)More: Football

‘Javier Aguirre has decided to let Mohamed Salah return to his club and not participate in the Swaziland match on Tuesday to give him more rest,’ read a statement from the Egyptian FA.

‘During the previous match against Swaziland, Salah complained of stress in the muscle. He was examined medically and an X-ray was performed on the area of complaint after the game.’

Salah is now in a race to be fit for Liverpool’s clash with Huddersfield next Saturday.

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Maurizio Sarri reveals what Jurgen Klopp told him before Liverpool’s equaliser against Chelsea

The two managers enjoyed plenty of touchline banter in their recent meeting (Picture: Getty)Maurizio Sarri has revealed that Jurgen Klopp was laughing and joking with him on the sidelines even while Liverpool were losing against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The two managers faced off twice in a matter of days, first in the Carabao Cup at Anfield – which Chelsea won – and then in west London in the Premier League.

Eden Hazard’s first-half goal appeared to be the difference as time was running out, despite both sides creating hordes of chances in an open and entertaining match, before Daniel Sturridge snatched a point with a wonder goal from range.

Klopp was revelling in Liverpool’s play even before Sturridge scored late on (Getty)In fact, it was such an enjoyable contest that Klopp was appreciating it even when his team were 1-0 down.

Sarri told Corriere dello Sport: ‘There are moments when the grand spectacle of it all convinces you to put aside any regrets. Even if you concede at the last minute or five minutes into stoppages.

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‘That was an extraordinary show. Just 10 minutes earlier, I saw Klopp looking at me with the game going on. I asked: “Why are you smiling?” He replied: “Aren’t you having fun?”

Klopp and Sarri knew they’d been involved in a real humdinger (Picture: Getty)‘I said: “So much” and he added “Me too”. He was losing at the time. Even after the equaliser, remembering that moment, we hugged like two old friends.

‘I’m sure he would’ve done the same even if Liverpool hadn’t equalised. The Premier League has this joy of football.’

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Jurgen Klopp warns Man City and Chelsea: Liverpool not interested in second place

Klopp thinks Liverpool will win something soon (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool’s Premier League title rivals the Reds have no interest in finishing second this season.

Liverpool are joint top of the league table with Chelsea and defending champions Manchester City after eight games played.

Klopp’s side seem ready to launch a title tilt this campaign, having fallen short of a sustained push last year.

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City finished ten points clear of their nearest rivals last year, with Liverpool coming fourth – 25 points behind the champions.

Klopp celebrated three years in charge at Liverpool this week and the German admitted he will not be content with second place.

‘In most sports, coming second in the Olympics you come home with a silver medal,’ said Klopp.

Liverpool picked up a point at Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)‘In football, it’s nothing. And it’s nothing for me as well. I want to win it, and I know that’s a responsibility.

‘I put all I have, knowledge, passion, heart, experience, I throw everything into the club 100 per cent. I don’t keep anything back.

‘It should work, actually, at one point. But until then, we should have a really good time.’

City held Liverpool to a draw at Anfield (Picture: Getty)Chelsea are the surprise title challengers so far this season with new boss Maurizio Sarri working miracles with his side.

City have not had the untouchable start to the campaign like last year, and many are tipping Chelsea and Liverpool to mount a serious challenge to the defending champions.

The Premier League is on hold until 20 October with the international fixtures taking centre stage.

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Liverpool star Xherdan Shaqiri tells Jurgen Klopp he wants to play as a No.10

Shaqiri has been a hit with the Liverpool fans (Picture: Rex Features)Xherdan Shaqiri claims his relationship with Jurgen Klopp is perfect despite the Liverpool boss giving him a very public dressing down.

Klopp stormed onto the pitch moments after losing to Chelsea in the cup last month, and seemed furious as he confronted Shaqiri in full view of the cameras and the Anfield crowd.

Both the manager and player shrugged the incident off as nothing, and Shaqiri has continued to insist his bond with Klopp is as strong as ever.

‘I have a very good relationship with [Klopp],’ Shaqiri told Blick.

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‘It is a lot of fun to work [with him]. We did not talk much about the League of Nations. I am happy. I think I’m relatively close to the first eleven. Very close.’

Shaqiri signed from Stoke in the summer and has been an instant hit with the Liverpool faithful for his energetic appearances from the bench.

The Switzerland international’s only start this season was against Southampton in a 3-0 Premier League win, and although Shaqiri starred in the first half Klopp decided to substitute the forward at half-time.

(Picture: Getty)Shaqiri is battling with a host of exciting forwards at Liverpool for a place in Klopp’s side, with Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane ahead of him in the pecking order.

But the 27-year-old revealed his preferred position is the middle of the park as a playmaker.

‘It is certainly different if you as a player have such freedom [as a No.10],’ he said.

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Shaqiri wants to play as a No.10 (Picture: Getty)‘The trainer gives me the freedom and I try to use it so that I can help the team as much as possible. With decisive passes or with shots.

‘Against Portugal I almost had to play as right-back. I play where the coach sets me up. But sure, on the side you have more defensive work than in the middle.

‘I know that from Bayern Munich. There I also played as a full-back.’

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