Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Roberto Firmino is back in training ahead of Saturday’s Premier League showdown with Tottenham Hotspur.
The Brazilian attacker has been dealing with a foot problem for the past few weeks and has been forced to miss his side’s last five matches in all competitions.
Firmino’s injury meant that he missed both legs of the Reds’ Champions League semi-final victory over Villarreal, as well as meetings with Manchester United, Everton and Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Klopp confirmed that Firmino had made his return to the training pitches and is in with a chance of making his comeback against Tottenham, but he may be spared for Tuesday’s meeting with Aston Villa.
“I don’t know about Bobby, but he is back in training, so we have to make a decision. He hasn’t done a lot, he had to let it settle. It might be possible but it might make more sense to train through the weekend,” Klopp told reporters.
Firmino’s multiple injury problems have restricted him to 31 appearances in all tournaments this term, including 18 in the Premier League, but he has still registered 11 goals and four assists in that spell, and Klopp reported no other injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s game.
The January arrival of Luis Diaz has helped to negate the impact on Liverpool’s attacking line during Firmino’s absence, with the Colombia international stealing the spotlight against Villarreal in midweek.
With Liverpool 2-0 down at La Ceramica, Diaz’s introduction sparked new life into the Reds and bagged his side’s second goal in a 3-2 win, which saw them advance to the Champions League final 5-3 on aggregate.
Klopp did not back on his praise for Diaz in his press conference, hailing the 25-year-old as “world-class” after bagging his fourth goal for the club against Villarreal.
“He has had an unbelievable impact, that is clear. In any squad in the world, there’s enough room for a world-class player. That’s what Luis is and that is why we were so desperate to get him. He makes all the difference,” Klopp added.
“Thank God we made that decision as he helped everywhere. He communicates to everybody without really speaking the language. He’s really close with Curtis [Jones] and Harvey [Elliott] and have no idea how they talk!”
However, Liverpool’s Champions League celebrations were somewhat dampened by the news that the Reds have only been allocated 19,618 tickets for the final at the 75,000-seater Stade de France.
UEFA’s allocation has been widely criticised by supporters, and Klopp also weighed in with his frustrations about the decision but also urged supporters to try to make the journey to Paris even if they cannot get their hands on a ticket.
“Is it right I read we only get 20,000 tickets [for CL final], Real get 20 and it’s 75,000 seats? Where are these 35,000 [going]?!” Klopp said.
“I think Paris is a place you can go without a ticket and enjoy yourself. Whoever follows us, I say thank you very much, you made it special. I cannot be more thankful for our fans.”
Liverpool can temporarily return to the top of the Premier League table with victory over Tottenham on Saturday before Manchester City do battle with Newcastle United.