Covid-hit Liverpool hoping Jurgen Klopp can return for Shrewsbury FA Cup clash

The Reds boss missed last weekend’s draw at Chelsea after returning a suspected positive coronavirus test.
Covid-hit Liverpool hoping Jurgen Klopp can return for Shrewsbury FA Cup clash

By Mark Walker, PA Sport

Liverpool assistant coach Peter Krawietz said Jurgen Klopp hopes to be back in the dug-out for Sunday’s home FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury.

Krawietz also revealed an unnamed player had been recalled from his loan spell and was hoping to join a squad decimated by coronavirus, which had forced the club to shutdown first-team training earlier this week.

When asked if Klopp would be back on the touchline after missing last Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Chelsea following a suspected positive Covid-19 test, Krawietz said: “We hope so of course.

Liverpool assistant coach Peter Krawietz, centre, has been holding fort in the absence of Jurgen Klopp, left, and Pepijn Lijnders
Liverpool assistant coach Peter Krawietz, centre, has been holding fort in the absence of Jurgen Klopp, left, and Pepijn Lijnders (Nick Potts/PA)

“He is well so far, he feels fine, but of course the regulations are how they are and he has to do tests as well. We hope he will be fine to be in tomorrow, yes.”

On the player who had been recalled from his loan spell, Krawietz said: “Yes, we have one loan player back and he will probably join the squad tomorrow.

“Of course we are searching for options for this game and for this squad nearly everywhere. We found enough players to build a team.

“I can’t talk about names. Please understand my situation, I can’t talk about that. Joel Matip joined training yesterday again, but we have to see whether he is available or not.”

Krawietz said he was unable to confirm which players would be available to face Shrewsbury as several still had to be re-tested and that some under-23s and academy players will get their chance.

“Can we expect the perfect set-up for tomorrow? No of course we can’t, but we can always show the right and perfect reaction to what is happening on the pitch,” he said.

“A proper team performance with experienced leaders in the team and young players who will get this fantastic experience to play at Anfield and feel the support of our supporters.

“I hope that excitement is the right word for that. I hope they can’t wait until the game starts. We try to make them as confident as they should be and as focused as they need to be.”

 

Liverpool reopened their first-team training centre on Friday after a 48-hour closure due to a Covid outbreak among players and staff.

Continued uncertainty over player availability means the likes of Conor Bradley, Tyler Morton, Owen Beck, Kaide Gordon, Max Woltman and Harvey Blair could all be in contention.

Defender Matip, goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino missed the draw with Chelsea after testing positive.

Thiago Alcantara (hip) and Divock Origi (knee) are not expected to feature, but Takumi Minamino could return after injury.

Alisson and Roberto Firmino
Alisson and Roberto Firmino were among those to miss last weekend’s draw with Chelsea (Rui Vieira/PA)

Shrewsbury boss Steve Cotterill, who spent two spells in hospital during his life-threatening battle against Covid last year, saw his Sky Bet League One side extend their unbeaten run to four matches with a 1-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday last week.

The Shrews held Liverpool to a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup fourth round two seasons ago before losing 1-0 in the replay and Krawietz is expecting another tough encounter.

“A team who play proper football, quick, forward, they want to attack, strong strikers and a compact defensive formation,” the German added.

“They are a team that is well-managed, you can see that. They will have targets, our situation is not ideal.”

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