The Paris St-Germain duo have been declared fit and will start Wednesday’s Champions League tie against the Reds. Liverpool players do not fear facing Neymar or Kylian Mbappe because they have “probably watched 500,000 YouTube videos” on the pair, says Jurgen Klopp.
They were injured on international duty and missed Saturday’s 1-0 league victory over Toulouse. “It is much more difficult to prepare a game when my players don’t know an opponent,” said Klopp.
“We give them videos but this generation probably watch 500,000 YouTube videos of Mbappe, Neymar and (Edinson) Cavani and they know about their individual strengths more than I do.
“But they can only shine with the ball so that means we have to defend them.”
‘Salah is only human’
Klopp believes Egypt forward Mohamed Salah is back to full fitness ahead of the trip to Paris. Salah, 26, scored 42 goals last season but struggled early this season after playing at the World Cup still hampered by the shoulder injury he sustained in May’s Champions League final.
He has scored nine goals in 18 appearances this season, with six in his last seven. “Even Mo Salah is a human being and he needed time. Everything is fine. The body is back, 100%, and his physical things he can rely on,” said Klopp.
“Since before the last international break it was completely obvious in each session it clicked again. He’s there. “If you are in doubt easily then it could affect you, but not for one second was he in doubt and I was not in doubt. Nobody here was in doubt actually.”
French champions PSG trail Napoli and Liverpool by a point in Group C. Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and defender Joe Gomez are both in contention to play in the French capital.
Mane was a doubt for the Group C tie with illness, while Gomez returns after missing Saturday’s win at Watford. Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke are missing for Liverpool, who could reach the last 16 with a win at the Parc des Princes.
PSG’s chances of a first Champions League title will end for another year if they lose to Liverpool and Italian side Napoli win at home to Red Star Belgrade. Liverpool, who lost to Real Madrid in last year’s final, will go through if they win and Red Star do not beat Napoli.
All four sides are still in with a chance of going through before the penultimate round of matches. Liverpool won the reverse fixture against PSG thanks to Roberto Firmino’s 90th-minute winner in a 3-2 win at Anfield.
Can Liverpool end home dominance? – the stats
- The home side have won all three meetings in all competitions between PSG and Liverpool, with the French side winning 3-0 in the only previous match played in Paris (3-0 in 1996-97 Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final)
- PSG are unbeaten in their last 20 home group-stage games in the Champions League, winning 15 and drawing five, since losing 3-1 to CSKA Moscow in December 2004
- PSG’s tally of five points is their second lowest after four Champions League group-stage games in its current format (4 in 2004-05)
- Liverpool have lost both of their away games so far in the Champions League this season – they’ve never lost all three away group games in the competition
- Liverpool have lost their last three Champions League away games – they’ve never lost four in a row in the European Cup/Champions League before
- Neymar has been directly involved in 13 goals in his 11 Champions League appearances for the French side, scoring nine and providing four assists
- Kylian Mbappe has been directly involved in 11 goals in his last 10 Champions League group stage games, scoring six goals and providing five assists
‘Liverpool’s chances of qualifying at lowest level’
Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote:
Liverpool’s chance of reaching the Champions League knockout phase has bounced about during the competition and is now at its lowest level yet after their defeat in Serbia against Red Star.
With three teams from the Euro Club Index top-10 in this group, one team had to miss out and which one it will be is still open. Napoli, who currently have an 80% chance of progress, are now the group favourites.
Liverpool need to get at least a draw in Paris this week to improve their chance of playing in the last 16 before they play another crunch match on the final matchday of the group phase.
Source: BBC News