Jurgen Klopp has said that a decision still needs to be made over whether Mohamed Salah will play against Wolves on Sunday.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference via Liverpool FC on YouTube, the Reds boss said Salah, along with Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho, is ‘all good.’ However, Klopp doesn’t want to take a risk with any of his players.
“With the other boys it looks all good, I’ve no idea what we’ll do with them for the weekend,” he said.
“I understand 100% the goalscoring battle (Salah has) with Heung-Min Son, but we’ve no chance to take any risk. Mo doesn’t want to take any risk, no doubt about that. It looks good and the boys made steps, but we will see.”
Despite this risk-averse strategy, Klopp implied that his preference would be to give the trio some minutes ahead of the Champions League final.
“My preferred solution would be that they could play at the weekend, for rhythm reasons and things like this,” said the manager. “At least they can be on the bench and we can bring them on or not. But if not, we take it from there, I cannot say 100%.”
Risk vs Rhythm
As Klopp alludes to, Liverpool will have to weigh up whether giving the likes of Salah some rhythm is worth the risk involved.
That will largely depend on how the shape that coaches and physios feel the player’s are in. Fabinho has already publicly declared his fitness. If Salah and Van Dijk are also completely fine, there seems to be little risk in playing them here.
There is a chance of injury every time a footballer steps out onto the pitch. A completely healthy player could take a knock and miss the Champions League final just as easily as one who is nursing something.
In that respect, Klopp must send his team out with Wolves in mind, not Real Madrid. Liverpool still have a game and possibly a title to win on Sunday. They simply must uphold their end of the bargain and hope for a favour from Aston Villa.
Should the trio head into the final in Paris cold from not playing, it could have potentially disastrous effects on the team’s performance.
Lots to weigh up then for Klopp and the medical team. At this stage, with so much on the line for Liverpool, they can’t afford to get it wrong.