Of all the injuries Liverpool have had to cope with so far in the 2018-19 season, Roberto Firmino’s rolled ankle against Manchester United had the potential to be the most difficult to overcome, and an extended layoff could have derailed their title challenge.
They may have other superb attackers, but it is Firmino who provides the focal point, the one they all play off and around. Without him—or when he’s out of form—Liverpool’s attack stops functioning. Thankfully, it looks as though he won’t be out for long.
“Firmino looks good,” was manager Jürgen Klopp’s response when asked about the Brazilian at his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday and Watford. “It’s not as serious as we first thought. It will be close for tomorrow but a big chance for the derby.”
“We were obviously lucky. It is not as bad as it first looked and because it is Bobby there is a chance for tomorrow even but I think he will be ready for the derby. But writing him off [for tomorrow against Watford] would be silly because he recovers pretty quickly.”
Liverpool now face a run of four games that could determine their season, with three very winnable league games—on paper, at least—followed by the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie with Bayern Munich that will decide if they advance in Europe.
First up are Watford, then Everton on the weekend and Burnley the following Sunday before they travel to Munich on Wednesday, March 13th. Firmino will be key to Liverpool’s chances, but if he isn’t ready tomorrow, Klopp says he does have some other ideas in mind.
“There is a lot of quality and if we need to change and few things then we will,” he added. “It’s possible Bobby won’t be involved but we have options and we’ll use those at the start of the game and then possibly another option in the second half.”