Jurgen Klopp said counter-pressing Liverpool’s forwards would always be “the way” into his starting XI as Roberto Firmino was ruled out of Saturday’s game against Nottingham Forest.
Liverpool ended a five-match losing streak by beating Leeds United 6-1 for the last time, with attacking quartet Cody Gakpo, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez scoring goals.
Liverpool are looking to be six points clear of the top four in the Premier League when they host Forest before Champions League contenders Newcastle United and Tottenham meet on Sunday.
The Reds will be without Firmino next game after he suffered a muscle injury that could also force him to miss West Ham and Tottenham next week.
“Unfortunately, Bobby has some muscle problems, we’ll see how long it takes,” Klopp said.
“It’s not too serious, but he’s definitely out for tomorrow and we have two more games next week. I’d say it’s impossible, we’ll see. We have to take it day by day.”
Jurgen Klopp spoke about the physical form of Roberto Firmino. pic.twitter.com/vZB2VNVn0x
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 21, 2023
After Luis Diaz returned from injury, adding to Liverpool’s attacking potential, Klopp was asked how he chooses his team’s top three of his team’s six elite forwards.
“A ticket to this team will definitely be counter-pressing,” he said. “That’s where it all started, I wouldn’t say we lost a little… but we had so many games where I didn’t like it.
“It’s a pretty strict thing. All five available right now – six with Bobby – can do this very well. But if you do it in the games you play, you have a chance to start over.
“Everyone is very important and everyone will play, but then again, the ticket will be to want the ball back as soon as we lose it, because we had many times when it mattered.”
Tough competition for Liverpool’s attacking spot has seen Nunes start his final two games on the bench, and Klopp says the Uruguayan is still adapting to a difficult debut season.
“Darwin is a player with a skill set that is different from all of our other players. He’s a real handful and he’s already scored a decent amount of goals,” Klopp said.
“Of course, he is still adapting, his English is not very good yet, if at all, we are working on it.
“Don’t go through a difficult debut season for the whole team. How can a striker shine when the whole team is fighting?
“This is not a problem at all, this is a long-term project. I understand that he wants to play from the very beginning, but we have to find a way to play that suits us and then fit the players.”