April 24, 2018

Klopp refuses to risk Salah in Merseyside derby

07 April 2018, 09:50 | Ken Black

Everton vs. Liverpool: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Everton's English manager Sam Allardyce arrives for the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool north west England on March

The Reds will further be buoyed heading into the derby following their emphatic 3-0 win over Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals first leg. They are 16 points clear in the Premier League.

The Reds are unlikely to call upon Salah or Roberto Firmino after both were taken off against City.

Wayne Rooney will be eager for a big performance against a big rival and build on his ten goals for the season.

Klopp said: "I don't want to give anything away and I want to wait".

Midfielder Wijnaldum therefore believes games against United - two points and one position above third-place Liverpool - are of more importance, comparing the situation to that former club Feyenoord face in the Eredivisie.

Given the current trajectories of the two clubs, they may not get a better chance for some time.

For the visitors from across Stanley Park, they have a key Champions League second leg coming up on Tuesday and Klopp has already been at his sanctimonious best with complaining about the Derby being moved a few hours earlier for television.

Allardyce answered: "Where are the doubters?"

"I think it's an advantage we could possibly take".

"What changes Jurgen makes, he has a very strong squad and they've not let him down all season so if he changes the team it'll be strong, it'll be fresh". All I know is that, this weekend, they will be motivated to the highest level.

Worryingly for Everton, their inability to look threatening often enough - even at home in which they enjoy a good record - should make their strikeforce food and drink for Lovren, and Virgil van Dijk, if they play anywhere as near as good as they did on Wednesday.

Eliaquim Mangala and Gylfi Sigurdsson won't be featuring for Everton. That's a good football team and they are very experienced in defence. Each Evertonian thinks at Goodison there must be a few extra percent of desire and stuff like that.

"Without him, it could be a long afternoon for the Blues, with him I still expect the Reds superior pace and ability to be too hot to handle for the hosts". But we need to be ready for hard challenges, it's a derby.

Klopp, then, has to spread his risk against Everton, not least in attack, where 38-goal top scorer Mohamed Salah may well be left out.

Joel Matip, Adam Lallana and Joe Gomez all remain sidelined with long-term injuries.

Ashley Williams will be available after serving a suspension and Idrissa Gana Gueye has recovered from his hamstring injury.

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