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Jürgen Klopp Rules Out Roberto Firmino for Villarreal Semi-Final

Liverpool’s industrious false nine isn’t expected to be fit to play in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Manchester City v Liverpool: The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp have been fortunate in recent weeks on the injury front, with the Reds’ manger having had an almost entirely fit squad to choose from as he and his squad push to secure an unlikely, historic quadruple.

One player whose availability has been limited, though, is striker Roberto Frimino. In his absence, Sadio Mané has proven himself adept at taking on the false nine duties that Klopp demands of his centre forward. Still, Firmino’s absence has been notable.

“I don’t think yet,” was Klopp’s response at his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Villarreal when asked if the industrious Brazilian would have a role to play.

“He is running outside and that’s good, obviously, but I am not sure. Maybe somebody will surprise me afterwards and tell me, ‘Yes, Bobby is in,’ and I will have open arms, but I don’t think so. Apart from that, nothing that I know yet.”

Following Wednesday’s European tie, Liverpool face a less than ideal turnaround before kicking off against resurgent Newcastle on Saturday in the Premier League’s early kickoff after broadcasters were unwilling to see the game pushed back.

The first leg against Villarreal being at Anfield at least means the Reds won’t have to travel ahead of it, with the return in Spain set for next Tuesday before they’re back in Premier League action against Tottenham the following Saturday.

Having already won the League Cup they remain a point off Manchester City in the league, are preparing for an FA Cup final against Chelsea, and know victory over two legs against Villarreal would see them in the Champions League final.

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