Klopp hopeful on Firmino fitness for Barca clash


Premier League - Liverpool v Huddersfield Town - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - April 26, 2019 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after the match REUTERS/Andrew Yates

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp sounded hopeful that his striker Roberto Firmino, who missed Friday's 5-0 Premier League win over Huddersfield Town, will be fit to face Barcelona on Wednesday.

The Merseysiders, who have moved back to the top of the English league table, take on the Spanish giants in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Nou Camp and the loss of Firmino would be a significant one.

The 27-year-old Brazilian was replaced by Daniel Sturridge in the Liverpool lineup on Friday after picking up a muscle injury in training on Thursday.

"Bobby trained yesterday completely normally. It was not high-intensity we just had to work on set-pieces a little bit and here and there a couple of things," said Klopp.

"I didn’t see it in training, it happened in the last situation of training and he felt a muscle a little bit.

"Now the official diagnosis is he has a small tear in a small muscle, so apart from the word 'tear' everything else is positive," added the German.

“It is Bobby, so he might be ready for Wednesday, but we obviously don’t know in this moment. Because it is him, it’s rather likely that (he will be) than not, but we will see.

“So, of all the bad news you can get it is pretty much the best, but it’s still bad enough that he couldn’t play tonight," he said.

Firmino has featured in 46 games for Liverpool this year in all competitions, scoring 16 goals with eight assists.

Klopp also said Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk, who went to ground with an injury during the second half against Huddersfield, bringing a hush to the stadium, was fine.

“No, nothing. I asked him, he said, ‘No, no, all good," added Klopp.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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