Soccer-Liverpool's Klopp not worried about potential Old Trafford protests

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Southampton - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - May 8, 2021 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp before the match Pool via REUTERS/Zac Goodwin

(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he was not concerned about the safety of his players for Thursday's rearranged Premier League game at Manchester United after violent fan protests caused the original fixture to be postponed.

The match, originally scheduled for May 2, was called off after United fans protesting against the club's American owners, the Glazer family, stormed into the stadium and invaded the pitch. Protesters also clashed with police outside the ground, with six officers injured during the demonstrations.

There was no sign of fans or protesters around Old Trafford for United's game against Leicester City on Tuesday, but social media posts suggested protesters were looking to Thursday's match for a further demonstration of their opposition to the Glazers.

"There are no concerns. We trust the authorities, we were not in danger last time," Klopp told a news conference. "I have no idea what happens tomorrow but I am not concerned."

Liverpool are currently sixth on 57 points from 34 games, seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand. Klopp said his side would not throw caution to the wind in pursuit of Champions League qualification.

"Our plan was to win all the games," he said. "But do we have to take more risks? Possible but it's not planned. If you play a game and think only about attacking, you have lost before the first whistle."

Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has ruled himself out of contention for this year's European Championships in a bid to fully recover from his season-ending knee injury, but Klopp said the tournament was never a realistic option for the Dutchman.

"I never wanted to cut the Euros off but I always knew with common sense, it was never possible," he added.

Klopp also said captain Jordan Henderson, who has not played since late February after undergoing surgery on a groin injury, could be fit for the Euros.

"I think there's a chance - unfortunately not for us but for England," he said.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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