By Alex Stevens
Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Roberto Firmino could have played against Chelsea on Friday night.
The Brazilian attacker did not feature in the 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge after suffering a minor groin injury that kept him out of the matchday squad.
But Klopp explained on Monday that Firmino is in training and back to full fitness after making a full recovery from the problem.
He claimed the 24-year-old could even have been involved at Chelsea had Liverpool not suffered such a string of injuries to key men during his 12 months at Anfield.
“Roberto is in training,” Klopp said, as quoted by the Guardian. “The medical department told me he could have played against Chelsea but I heard the word risk too often so I decided no.
“I was very happy that it worked out OK. They told me if I gave him three days he would be perfect so today is the fourth day.”
Firmino has been declared fit for Liverpool’s EFL Cup tie at Derby on Tuesday, but there is still no place in Klopp’s plans for Mamadou Sakho.
The France defender has not featured for Liverpool this season due to an Achilles injury, though he returned to training a fortnight ago.
Klopp has settled on Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren as his central defensive partnership in recent matches and, despite preparing to make changes for the third-round tie at the iPro Stadium, the Liverpool manager will not consider Sakho.
“He is still working on his fitness,” said Klopp, as quoted by the Guardian. “He is closer but there is a big difference between match fitness and everything else. It is not about how the player feels, it is about close I feel he is. It is a long, long time since he played and all the other players have not had a long break so it makes more sense if we use them.”
In other Liverpool team news, Kevin De Bruyne agreed personal terms to sign for Jurgen Klopp.