The fact that Liverpool travelled to Stamford Bridge without Klopp, Alisson, Firmino, and Matip because of positive COVID-19 tests is just the reality we live in now. Klopp’s second-in-command, Pep Lijnders took charge of the squad and—after the game ended in a frustrating draw—took time to chat with the club’s website about squad preparations in the time of COVID.
“You can try to plan it but you can never prepare it,” Lijnders said. “It is not a worry because we have faith in the boys we have and a few boys are coming back as well. We know that certain players can play more offensively as well, they have been playing in midfield but they can play more offensively as well.”
Liverpool will also be losing Keïta, Salah, and Mané to AFCON next week. Hopefully, there won’t be any other players missing as Liverpool take on Arsenal and Shrewsbury in the EFL and FA Cups.
“I just told the boys as well that Naby, Mo and Sadio: that they should try to win the AFCON because it is a prize to catch and the careers are never long and they deserve to fight for each prize,” Lijnders added. “This prize now comes in front of them – it’s a tournament with so much passion, so much culture and it is a really proud situation if you can play for your country, if it’s England or Germany or Holland or whoever and that’s what they have and feel. So they are African legends, they are legends for me, but if they win it they will probably be even bigger legends so they should try with all they have to win it.”