As expected, Jürgen Klopp will take no chances with Roberto Firmino and has left the striker not just out of the starting eleven but out of the lineup entirely as Liverpool take on Watford in a rare mid-week Premier League match.
Klopp was bullish about Firmino’s recovery abilities at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, saying the injury was “not as serious as we first thought” and noting that Firmino “recovers pretty quickly.” Still, this is hardly a surprise.
The Brazilian rolled ankle on Sunday, and the injury looked severe—severe enough many feared Firmino would be set for a lengthy layoff. Despite that, and despite missing out tonight, he is expected to be fit to face Everton.
It does, however, mean the manager will need to take a different approach at least for one match, and with that in mind some will be surprised to see it’s Divock Origi who gets the call to start in place of the inured Firmino.
Most probably would have guess the manager would push Mohamed Salah up top and bring on one or both of Xherdan Shaqiri or Naby Keïta in support, but instead it’s the out of form natural striker who comes on.
Liverpool’s Starting XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Milner; Salah, Origi, Mané
On the Bench: Mignolet, Camacho, Keïta, Henderson, Lallana, Shaqiri, Sturridge
Full Match Coverage: Liverpool vs. Watford Live Updates