Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stated that star forward Mohamed Salah will not feature against Everton in Saturday’s Premier League Merseyside derby at Goodison Park if he is not 100 per cent fit.
Salah was on target in Liverpool’s impressive 3-0 win against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg at Anfield on Wednesday.
The reigning Africa Player of the Year winner however went off with a groin injury with fears he might not play against the Toffees.
“We have tried everything to make him available; 24 hours to go so let’s see,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“I cannot make Mo available because it is the derby. You cannot push a player through a game.
“None of our supporters would want that. If he is a doubt, and not 100 percent, he will not be involved.
“I would not risk any player, not just Mo, it would be the same situation.”
Klopp, whose side are third on 66 points in the Premier League table, added: “None of these games have been easy and you wish you could prepare with a week’s training.
“The derby is the most important for the people and that is how we have to take it.
“We have to show up and nobody cares how difficult it is, we have to deliver.
“They will be motivated to the highest level. They have a very good home record and are a really good team.”
“Bolasie and Walcott, Tosun are in good form, they have a good football team. At Goodison, we need to be ready.
“In the last few years, there has been one very harsh challenge – in all the derbies I have played so far.
“I hope we can go through the game without that. We all have our challenges and hopefully we can do that without injuries.”
The former Borussia Dortmund manager condemned the attack on Manchester City’s team bus ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash.
He went on to praise the City medical team who attended to a Liverpool fan who got injured during the attack.
“It was a perfect example for how it should be (on the City medical team). It was an outstanding gesture from the City medical staff. It leaves us even more in a situation to find it strange,” Klopp said.
“I apologise for what happened before the game. It killed everything for us. You cannot be happy about that.
“You give people an opportunity to do something and a few idiots ensure it may never happen again.
“The atmosphere in the game was one of the best I have experienced but what happened before changes things.”
And on giving opportunities to youngsters like Sheyi Ojo, Ovie Ejaria and other young Liverpool players, Klopp said: “For young players, it isn’t about getting the opportunity it is about being ready.
“They are around but because we loaned out players, Ryan Kent, Harry Wilson, Ejaria, Ojo, Grujic, they are the next generation.
“They are really talented boys and I want to use them, but in the right games.”