Liverpool Team News: Klopp Confirms Fresh Fitness Blow + Sturridge & Benteke Update
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed a fresh fitness blow ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Bordeaux and also gave an update on Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke.
Liverpool will look to secure safe passage to the knockout stages of the Europa League when they take on Bordeaux at Anfield on Thursday night.
Ahead of the game, Jurgen Klopp has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and gave Liverpoolfc.com a team news and injury update.
The German was pleased to reveal that Daniel Sturridge is edging closer to full fitness after continuing to work with the rest of the first team squad in training this week.
The striker returned to the squad for Saturday’s win over Manchester City but was an unused substitute as the Merseysiders eased to an impressive 4-1 victory at the Etihad.
Klopp refused to divulge whether the England hitman would be involved against Bordeaux on Thursday night but he is glad to have his No.15 edging his way back to full fitness.
Sturridge’s return will give Liverpool another vital option up front and Klopp says that with Christian Benteke also now in tip-top condition, he finally has a wealth of options in attack.
However, it wasn’t all positive news as the former Borussia Dortmund coach also revealed that Martin Skrtel is out of tomorrow’s Europa League game due to illness. Mamadou Sakho is close to making his return but tomorrow’s game will come too soon, so Klopp is going to have to shake things up at the back.
He told the clubs website:
“The best news at the moment is Daniel is getting closer, closer and closer. He has now trained seven or eight times in a row – the longest period since I’ve been here – and, of course, that will help him. And it will help us because we have another option.
“He is closer. He’s had another three or four important sessions since last Saturday – each session is very important.
“My decision [on whether he will play against Bordeaux], you will see tomorrow.
“He is closer and that’s very, very good, but the most important thing in these [coming] weeks is that he can train without problems.
“Everybody knows he has very often had different [injury] problems, so we have to try to bring him into a situation where he is more robust. But if we have to field him in a good moment for a few minutes or more, then we will see in the game.”
“Christian Benteke is in very good shape, which is very important for us. When I came here he was injured, but now he has had many, many [training] sessions with the team and the Belgian national team.
“We are in a good position at the moment, but football can be like you solve one problem and then the next second you have another one.
“Martin Skrtel is a little bit ill. Mama is in a good way, but not ready for tomorrow, so we might need to have a new idea [in defence] and we will see how we handle this.”
With Skrtel and Sakho unavailable, Klopp is likely to start Kolo Toure alongside Dejan Lovren at the heart of defence against Bordeaux tomorrow night.
It is obviously a major boost to have Sturridge available again but I don’t think we’ll see the striker start on Thursday so a cameo appearance off the bench is the best he should probably hope for.
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