Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Firmino getting more credit without Coutinho, says Klopp

Firmino getting more credit without Coutinho, says Klopp

"I have not made the final decision, but it is..."

Regarding injuries, the big news coming out of Liverpool is that Nathaniel Clyne has resumed full first team training.

Yesterday the Kop boss bumped into Iker Casillas in a hotel lobby.

Roberto Firmino does not know if Champions League opponents Porto are afraid of Liverpool and their goalscoring threat but he hopes to make them suffer in the Estadio do Dragao. They are an entertaining side on the road and have both scored and conceded more goals away than at home. But Karius has started six of Liverpool's last seven games, with Mignolet left to handle last month's FA Cup loss to West Brom, leading to suggestions they had swapped roles. Porto top scorer Vincent Aboubakar might miss out with a muscle problem, although the medical staff do seem to be confident he'll at least the bench.

Klopp remains focused on the task at hand though and will not allow himself to think beyond this last-16 tie, knowing it would be unwise to underestimate Sergio Conceicao's formidable Portuguese league leaders.

"I'll ask Rafa [Benitez] but that would surprise me because it makes no sense".

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"I don't like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it". I am sat here in public but normally, if someone asks me about the next round, I leave the room.

"This is what we dreamed about last summer and now we're here". It feels good, everything is prepared. "That means there are 16 really strong teams remaining in the tournament", the German told the assembled media on Tuesday.

"Nobody wants to play against Porto".

Jurgen Klopp's side topped Group E, averaging nearly 4 goals a game while they did it, and will arrive in Portugal in confident mood after taking 7 points from the last 9 in domestic football.

Klopp also gave a reminder to those who are obsessed with systems that it is players who win games. We are here in Porto, that's the only thing. They are a mixture of football and fight, experience and youth, well organised and fluent. It's quite a job to do. Systems are very important but only to bring players in their best positions.

"The system will never win the game", Klopp is quoted by The Mirror as saying. In hard situations you have to make the right decisions, that's always like that. Throwing your heart on the pitch giving everything you have. We need a bit of luck in terms of avoiding injuries, but we can't look too far ahead. We have to be realistic.

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