After missing the trip to the London Stadium last weekend, Liverpool attacker Roberto Firmino could be in line for a recall to the squad when they square up with Middlesbrough FC in the final match of the season.
“[It’s] very positive,” said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to the press at Melwood earlier today. “We could not decide until now, but he feels good and he feels comfortable. He did a lot of things, but was not part of team training. That’s not a problem after this long season,” explained the German manager. “I think we will make a final test tomorrow,” confirmed Klopp, reserving judgment until he sees a bit more. “In this moment, I would rather say ‘yes’ than ‘perhaps’, but I am not sure.”
Sidelined with a muscle injury, the Brazilian watched on as the Merseysiders kept their bid to secure Champions League football for next season on track as they thrashed West Ham United on their own patch of grass. While there’s all different kinds of permutations that will see Liverpool claim a place in the top-four, a win on Sunday is their best bet with Arsenal unable to break in to the Champions League places if the Reds claim all three-points. Having Firmino back as an option will be a major boon to their cause, but there will be no return for club captain Jordan Henderson with the influential midfleder still struggling with the foot problem he picked up all the way back in February.
“It’s not that difficult an injury, the problem is only that it’s difficult to make the rehabilitation because this injury, all it needs is time,” said Klopp, echoing the same talking points he’s had since Henderson limped off injured. “That’s the situation, but we were not one second without our captain because Hendo is always around. He has an unbelievably important role, not only on the pitch but it’s another role in the dressing room, here at Melwood and all that stuff, and he’s always here so we are never without him and will not be without him on Sunday, of course,” stressed the Reds boss. “But no, there are no concerns [about his recovery], the only problem is the season was obviously a little bit too short for him to come back, that’s all.”