1 May 2017

Confirmed Team News: 6 players out; Klopp confirms €30m Liverpool star is 'back'; Shock return for Lallana?

Liverpool's vital Premier League clash with Watford kicks off in a few hours, and ahead of the game, here is the confirmed team news so far.

* Klopp on Lallana: “It’s wonderful to have him back. In our situation, to have a player back from injury, it’s great. You have to think about whether he could start and whether he is ready for 45 minutes or more. If not then he cannot start because we cannot make the first change in the first half.”

* Klopp on Hendo: "Hendo is not on the pitch so far and there’s nothing new to say about [him]".

* Klopp on Sturridge: "Daniel is in team training again today too, and that’s good. I have to see how [he] looks on the pitch but it’s good to have [him] back.”".

* Watford: According to The Telegraph: "Craig Cathcart is a doubt because of a knee problem. Valon Behrami has just returned to the squad after a hamstring injury. Kaboul, Pereyra (knee) and Zarate all remain sidelined".

* Confirmed Out: Ings, Henderson, Mane, Kaboul, Pereyra, and Zarate.

After Man City and Man United choked yesterday, Liverpool's Champions League destiny is back in Klopp's hands, and a victory today will give the Reds some breathing space ahead of the final three league games of the season.

Seriously, if Liverpool throw it away now, it'll be worse than anything that happened under Brendan Rodgers. BR's team may have missed out on winning the league, but:

* Liverpool were never expected win the league. Prior to the 2013-14 season, the team hadn't won the league for 23 years, so coming to within 2 points of a league title = a hugely positive overachievement (especially given the club's poor defensive record that season).

* Finishing 2nd showed incredible progress over the previous year's 6th-placed, and yielded only positive results, the biggest of which was a return to the Champions League.

* Compare that to this season. Right now, Liverpool are in a massive position of strength in the top four, and the fixture list is highly favourable.

* With their rank inconsistency, United and City are basically handing the Reds a Champions League place on a silver platter.

* If Liverpool fail to qualify now, it will be a massively negative outcome, and unlike 2013-14, there will be no positives to take from the season.

Luckily, Liverpool have lost only two of their last ten games at Vicarage Road, so there's a strong probability that Reds will come away with a positive result. In my view, there can be no excuse for failure.

After yesterday, the players must surely have massive motivation to put Watford to the sword...

* Sturridge: Combined €30m-rated (CIES). .


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