Southampton v Liverpool: Team news
Jürgen Klopp intends to balance the physical effects of the Emirates FA Cup final with the need to win at Southampton, but Liverpool are set to be without Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk at St Mary’s.
Three days on from beating Chelsea in a penalty shootout at Wembley after a draining 120 minutes of play, the Reds return to Premier League duty on Tuesday night looking to reduce the gap to leaders Manchester City to a point ahead of the final matchday.
Salah and Van Dijk are going to miss the journey to the south coast, however, having been taken off on the half-hour and 90 minutes respectively in the FA Cup final due to issues felt during the contest.
“They are both OK,” Klopp told the media on Monday. “So, the target would be for both that they can be involved again on the weekend [against Wolverhampton Wanderers].
“Properly involved, bench or whatever and a few minutes or start, I don’t know, we will see that, because that would then be perfect for the [Champions League final].
“But if not then we take each day afterwards. But we are very positive, or [have] no doubt about the final. I’m pretty realistic about the Wolves game, but tomorrow rather not.”
Fabinho’s recovery from a muscle injury sustained against Aston Villa last week is going ‘very well’ but the No.3 remains unavailable for selection currently too.
Andy Robertson was suffering cramp during extra-time against Chelsea, prompting his substitution for penalty shootout hero Kostas Tsimikas.
On choosing a line-up to face Saints so soon after the efforts at Wembley, the manager said: “What I can promise and definitely say is we will line up a team only for one reason: to try to win the game at Southampton. As difficult as it is. Because that obviously is the job to do.
“We have to see who is able to help. The 30 extra minutes [at Wembley] made a big difference, but we have to see.”
Klopp added: “They are pretty much sleeping on the massage beds, they are constantly here, the boys try to make everything happen.
“If that would happen now in the first week of the season we would talk differently, this was now game 60, so we have to be really careful, that’s clear. We don’t finish the season [at Southampton], that’s not our last game of the season, that would again be different.
“When did Southampton have their last game? It was 10 days. So, it’s completely different. OK, they might lack a little bit of rhythm, but if we make changes we lose that advantage of having rhythm as well.
“They’re completely fresh and we cannot go there and fall into this game like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on here?’
“Imagine we go there with 10 players, or eight players, who played 120 minutes [on Saturday]. That makes no sense, so that’s why we have to make changes. I don’t know how many, we will see and I will talk to the players, obviously, but that’s tough.”
Southampton, meanwhile, will assess the fitness of goalkeeper Fraser Forster and midfielder Stuart Armstrong ahead of the game.
Ralph Hasenhuttl said on Monday: “[Liverpool] have a few problems but we also have a few problems. Stu Armstrong and Fraser Forster didn’t train in the week.
“They started yesterday; we will look how far they are. They could be available for the weekend.
“Both have back problems and joint problems, knee problems. A little bit from everything, a little bit sore and hopefully they will be ready for Tuesday.”
Tino Livramento is a long-term absentee due to an ACL injury.
Brentford 3-0 Southampton (May 7): Forster, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud, S. Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Redmond, A. Armstrong, Broja.
Chelsea 0-0 (5-6 pens) Liverpool (May 14): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Thiago, Keita, Diaz, Salah, Mane.