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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said Mohamed Salah will be available to face Manchester City on Sunday, while he has said the club had “no option” but to let Philippe Coutinho go to Barcelona.
The Times‘ Paul Joyce relayed his update on Salah:
Meanwhile, Klopp discussed Coutinho’s exit and believes the club do not need to replace him, per This is Anfield:
This Is Anfield @thisisanfield
Klopp on replacing Coutinho: We don’t have to replace him; what we have to do is step up. We will have 11 players, we’ve played fantastic football without Phil.
The Brazilian joined the Blaugrana earlier this month in a club-record £142 million deal.
According to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, Klopp nevertheless noted the need to respond to his departure on the pitch rather than in the transfer market:
James Pearce @JamesPearceEcho
Klopp on losing big players in the past: “We lost plenty of players at Dortmund. You always have to react. It’s about the atmosphere in the club. If we get a FK on Sunday and anyone is thinking ‘Phil!’ that wouldn’t be too cool.”
The German is perhaps aware of the Reds’ strong record of results without the playmaker in the side, which WhoScored.com provided:
Liverpool with and without Philippe Coutinho starting in the Premier League this season
Full player stats — https://t.co/TvEfZVgR7A https://t.co/t9xuoP6elS
However, his departure has deprived the team of its chief creator, so unless Adam Lallana—who has missed the majority of the campaign through injury—can fulfil that role, they’re likely to suffer somewhat if they don’t make a move to bring someone in.
Per the Mirror‘s Liam Prenderville, the coach turned his attention to Sunday’s clash with City at Anfield, and he’s eagerly awaiting the test:
“We need to show we can cause them problems, make their life difficult. We will try to win. Sometimes, you get an opportunity to put things right.
“It wasn’t a nice day earlier in the season and we must try. That is just one of our motivations. It is at Anfield and we should use that. I am really looking forward to the game.”
Klopp also gave further team news and revealed he is yet to decide if Virgil van Dijk will be ready to feature.
On Jordan Henderson and Alberto Moreno, he added: “Hendo is out on the pitch and looks good. Moreno trained yesterday and should be ready after Sunday. If nothing happens, he still needs time to train.”
The Sky Blues are still unbeaten in the Premier League and sit 18 points ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table.
City beat the Reds 5-0 in their last meeting as Liverpool crumbled after being reduced to 10 men with Sadio Mane sent off, but prior to that it was one of the few times this season they have looked vulnerable.
Coutinho’s loss will be a blow, but if Liverpool can overcome that to produce their typically potent attacking game, they can have realistic ambitions of getting something from the match.