Athletic

UCL: Firmino set to return to face Spurs

Roberto Firmino will be fit for Liverpool’s Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

The Brazilian forward has been battling a muscular injury for the past month and has not played for Klopp’s team since making an 11-minute substitute appearance during the 3-0 Champions League semifinal first-leg defeat against Barcelona in the Nou Camp on May 1.

But the 27-year-old has proved his fitness during last week’s training camp in Spain and Klopp revealed at a news conference on Tuesday that Firmino will be in the squad for the clash against Spurs in Madrid.

Bobby [Firmino] trained and was part of training last week, Klopp said. He looked really good, fine and will be training from tomorrow again.

All we have seen so far is good, so he will be fine, for sure.

There is less positive news about midfielder Naby Keita, however, who will miss the game as a result of a thigh injury.

Keita, a Pound 52 million signing from RB Leipzig last summer, has also been out of action since being injured against Barcelona in Spain, but despite admitting he may be fit for Guinea’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign next month, Klopp has ruled him out of Saturday’s game.

There is no chance for Naby, Klopp said. He is really progressing well, so we will see how it works out for Africa Cup of Nations.

Klopp, meanwhile, is aiming to win the Champions League final this weekend after losing his two previous games at that stage, with Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich in 2013 and with Liverpool against Real Madrid last season.

But the Liverpool manager believes his chances this time are greater because his current team is the best he has ever coached.

I have never been a part of a better team than this, that’s true, Klopp said. I am not surprised with how the boys mix up their potential with attitude. It is brilliant, exceptional, and is why we are where we are.

Source: Voice of Nigeria