The Brazilian suffered an eye injury in the win over Tottenham on Saturday but a hospital examination showed there was no lasting damage. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hopeful striker Roberto Firmino will be fit for Tuesday’s Champions League match with Paris St-Germain at Anfield.
“If the game was today, no chance. It’s good news that it will be close. We will see how it develops,” Klopp said. Fellow forwards Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke are also doubts.
The pair picked up injuries in an Under-23s match meaning Daniel Sturridge could play if Firmino is ruled out. Firmino has two goals and two assists this season, having scored 10 times in 13 Champions League games last season as Liverpool reached the final, losing to Real Madrid.
He was injured in a challenge with Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen and had to be substituted with an abrasion of the eye. “We all hope he has a chance for tomorrow,” Klopp said.
“When we saw the pictures we were all shocked and when we had first contact with him after hospital it was a was big relief.
“It is painful. No-one wants that, but he will be fine. We don’t know exactly when. It is another 30 hours until the game so we will see how it develops.”
PSG have ‘unbelievable quality’
Brazilian forward Neymar is expected to play for PSG at Anfield, having been rested for Friday’s French Ligue 1 match against Saint-Etienne.
Kylian Mbappe also sat out the 4-0 win with a suspension and should return.
“He [Neymar] was rested at the weekend so he will be 100% fresh for us and we will see the full Neymar package and we have to cope with that,” Klopp said.
The French champions are managed by Thomas Tuchel – the man who took over at Borussia Dortmund when Klopp left for Liverpool in 2015 – and have won all five league games this season, scoring 17 goals.
“Paris are one of the favourites for the competition, for sure,” Klopp said. “This team is built for winning the Champions League. They have unbelievable quality.
“I have said it before, I like these challenges, but I only like it because I have a really good football team. If I was not a manager, I would watch this game. “We play at Anfield and it can be an advantage. We hope we can use that. We need any help we can get.”
Tuchel plays down Champions League expectations
PSG have won five Ligue 1 titles in the past six seasons but have yet to progress beyond the quarter-finals in the Champions League. Tuchel, who was appointed in May in place of Unai Emery, said he had not been told his job depends on him delivering Europe’s most prestigious prize.
“No-one has told me this, in all the talks, that I have to win this otherwise I didn’t do my job right,” said the German. “If anyone had told me that, I wouldn’t have signed the contract.
“If we judge ourselves only by the biggest goal in European football, the possibility of a big disappointment is high. Why should we do this? “Sometimes I feel sorry for my team because I know the effort they put in. We play at home against defensive teams and we win and win and win.
“It is not because it is easy, it is because these guys show the hunger to win and win and win.”
- Liverpool has faced Paris St-Germain twice before – over two legs in the semi-final of the 1996-97 Cup Winners’ Cup. PSG went through 3-2 on aggregate, having won the first leg 3-0 at home.
- Robbie Fowler and Mark Wright scored as Liverpool won the second leg of that tie 2-0 in April 1997 – the only time the French champions have visited Anfield before.
- PSG are taking part in their 11th Champions League campaign – their seventh in a row. Only Lyon (15) have more appearances in the competition among French clubs.
- This will be Liverpool’s first meeting in the Champions League with a side from France since the 2009-10 campaign, when they lost 1-2 to Lyon at Anfield before drawing 1-1 away from home in the group stages.
- Liverpool have won seven of their 12 previous European Cup/Champions League matches against French opposition (D1 L4) but have lost two of the past three at home (W1).
- PSG are winless in their past four Champions League matches against English sides (D3 L1) and have only kept one clean sheet in their previous 12 such games, a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge during the 2004-05 group stages.
- Last season, Liverpool’s James Milner (eight) equalled the record set by current PSG star Neymar (eight in 2016-17) for the most assists by a player in a single Champions League campaign since 2003-04.
- PSG striker Edinson Cavani has scored eight goals in 14 appearances in the Champions League against teams from England.
- Last season, Liverpool became the first team to have three players with 10 or more goals in a single European Cup/Champions League campaign (Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, all with 10 goals each).
- Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has reached the knockout stages in four of his previous five Champions League campaigns as manager, losing two finals – in 2013 with Borussia Dortmund and 2018 with Liverpool.
What are Liverpool’s chances of progression?
Sports analysts Gracenote say Liverpool have a 57% chance of progressing to the knockout stage. Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote said: “Liverpool are ranked eighth in Europe by the Euro Club Index but are still on an upward trajectory so their true level may be even higher.
“Prior to last month’s Champions League draw, the Reds were given a 69% chance of progress to this season’s Champions League knockout phase but their chance suffered when they were drawn in a relatively tough group.
“Paris St-Germain are currently ranked fifth in Europe and fellow group rivals Napoli ninth so this is the only group containing three of Europe’s best 10 clubs. Liverpool are still second favourites to progress but their chance of reaching the last 16 declined from 69% to 57% with this draw.”
Source: BBC News