17 May 2022 | 13:25 | Football
Virgil van Dijk (Getty Images)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is certain Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk will be able to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final despite having to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea.
Both will be left out of the squad by Klopp during his visit to Southampton on Tuesday as a precaution even though the Red Devils are still in the running for the Premier League title.
Asked if either could play at St Mary’s, Klopp said: “No. Both are fine, so the goal for both is that they can be involved again at the end of the week.
“It’s very positive, no doubt about the final and we are realistic about the game against Wolves (on Sunday), but for tomorrow, (we) would rather not.”
Klopp’s men had fresh hopes they could lead Manchester City to the title when Pep Guardiola’s side dropped two points in a 2-2 draw against West Ham on Sunday.
Defending champions Man City, with one game left, are leading the table by four points with a significantly better goal difference than their opponents, who have two games left.
Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup final at the weekend to complete the potential quarter-final second leg.
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who missed the cup final due to a muscle injury, is not yet ready to return, but Scotland defender Andy Robertson will be available after suffering a cramp on Saturday.
“What I can promise and definitely say is that we will line up a team for one reason only – to try to win the game at Southampton, no matter how hard it is, because that’s obviously the job. must do,” added Klopp.
City slide up?
However, the Liverpool boss is not confident that City will drop points against Aston Villa on Sunday to help his side claim the title.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game,” said Klopp. “Is it an opportunity, a big opportunity? I won’t say that because I don’t know when Man City dropped a point for the last time in two consecutive games in history.
“So Aston Villa have to play midweek when they’re not used to that. I’m sure they’re all professionals and things like this, they want to go to Man City, but City are a team. played pretty well. So I don’t expect City to drop points there.”
Klopp said the FA Cup win, following Liverpool’s League Cup win earlier this season, had eased the pressure on the club in the final weeks of the season.
“If we play a season like we play and win the League Cup and fight until the end for the championship, then for me it’s been a really good season,” he said. .
“Honestly, it feels a lot better that we’ve won two (titles).
“If we lose the final one negative scenario is that we won’t be champions and in a few weeks you all don’t mind reminding me that it all depends on a match if successful. public or not and things like this.”