Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Roberto Firmino faces a late fitness test ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham.
The Brazilian has not played since the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City because of a foot issue. He had been in strong form too, following a brace against Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals.
He has subsequently missed both legs of the Champions League semi-final against Villarreal and three Premier League wins for the Reds.
And despite Firmino returning to training on Thursday, Klopp insisted the 30-year-old could have the weekend off to recover properly.
“I don’t know, but he is back in training,” the manager told a press conference on Friday. “So now we have to make a decision about that.
“The foot thing didn’t let him do a lot, he had to let it settle and now we have to make sure that he has a few proper sessions.
“We have enough games still, but it’s important that we get him in the best possible shape. It might be possible that it makes more sense just to train through the weekend and be a big step closer.
“Let’s see, yesterday in training he was great.”
Klopp confirmed that he has no further injury concerns ahead of Spurs’ visit to Anfield.
Liverpool have only lost two Premier League games this season, but their seven draws have cost them so far in the title race with Manchester City. And Tottenham were one of those sides to take two points off the Reds in December.
Klopp talks Tottenham threat
In a game at the start of Spurs boss Antonio Conte’s reign, Harry Kane put the hosts in front. Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson made it 2-1 to Liverpool, but Son Heung-min ensured the sides shared the points in a thriller.
Klopp said of Tottenham’s threat: “It’s a massive test. If I looked from the outside, I would say that will be difficult for Liverpool.
“All teams fight for everything, but Tottenham has a massive quality. Away from home especially, they are not bothered about having the ball all the time.
“They defend compact and have some of the best counter-attacking players in the world.”
Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were not at Spurs in December’s clash, but the two January signings have added to their threat ahead of the trip to Anfield.
Firmino has Liverpool, Tottenham habit
Should Firmino make the Liverpool squad for Saturday evening’s game, he would be able to continue to his excellent record against the north London side.
In fact, the Brazil international has scored five goals in 12 games against Tottenham.
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He netted in both fixtures last season to help the Reds win 2-1 and 3-1 respectively.
Firmino also scored in both games between the teams in the 2018/19 season, with Liverpool winning 2-1 on both occasions.
His other strike against Spurs was the winner in London in the 2019/20 season on the Reds’ way to their Premier League triumph.