Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has conceded that Roberto Firmino is a doubt to face Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie next week.
The Merseyside giants travel to the Nou Camp on Wednesday night hoping to secure a positive result to take back to Anfield in the second leg the following week.
However, they may have to attempt to do so without Firmino, as after missing the 5-0 win over Huddersfield on Friday night, Klopp has revealed that the Brazilian international suffered a small muscle tear in training and it’s unclear if he will recover in time to face the La Liga champions.
“I didn’t see it in training, it happened obviously in the last situation in training, he felt the muscle a little bit,” Klopp said, as per Sky Sports.
“Now that’s the official diagnosis: he has a small tear in a very small muscle. Apart from the word ‘tear’ everything is positive.
“It’s Bobby so he might be ready for Wednesday, but we don’t know obviously in the moment.”
Should the 27-year-old be forced to sit out, it will come as a major blow for Liverpool given his influence in the final third.
Firmino has bagged 16 goals and eight assists in 46 appearances so far this season, while his defensive work and commitment sets the tone up front for the rest of the team to follow suit.
Especially against Barcelona in two games where the Catalan giants are expected to dominate possession, having Firmino press from the front and give Liverpool that touch of quality in the final third will arguably be fundamental to their hopes of advancing to the final.
However, it would appear as though they now face an anxious wait for positive news on Firmino’s injury issue, albeit they coped pretty well with his absence on Friday night.
Nevertheless, it’s one thing facing Huddersfield at home without him and another entirely going to Barcelona and trying to get a result against one of the top teams in Europe without such a key figure.