MX23RW : Wednesday, February 20 16:32:25

Liverpool expecting full Neymar package against Paris St Germain – Klopp

Klopp refused to be drawn into criticism of the Brazil international's diving antics at the World Cup.

Jurgen Klopp expects to see the "full Neymar package" when Liverpool open their Champions League campaign at home to Paris St Germain.

Reds manager Klopp refused to be drawn into criticism of the Brazil international's diving antics at the World Cup, where he was roundly condemned for rolling around on the floor unnecessarily.

Instead he chose to partly excuse Neymar's actions in the face of physical treatment from defenders – something Klopp says Liverpool will not be participating in on Tuesday.

"I know people were talking about when it looked like he made more of a situation than it was," said Klopp, whose team were losing finalists last season.

"For me that is a completely normal reaction because players were really going for him and he wants to protect himself and I understand that as well.

"If an opponent gets a yellow card then he is much closer to a red card so I see it from that perspective.

"I thought it is smart that he saves himself. Everyone doesn't have to be worried, we don't go for him against us.

"We play football and we want to win the ball, we don't try to act in these kind of things; we try to avoid passes to him, try to avoid him winning challenges – which is a big job to do.

"I am not sure if it is 100 per cent possible to avoid his qualities. I am pretty sure it is not. He is a fantastic footballer, an outstanding player.

"I don't think he is a person who wants to act because if you are like that you cannot play the football he plays.

"I don't think about these kind of things. He got rested at the weekend so he will be 100 per cent fresh for us, he is not injured any more, so we will see the full Neymar football package.

"We still have to cope with that and that is what we will try."

Neymar's Brazil team-mate Roberto Firmino faces a late assessment to see whether he has recovered from an eye injury sustained at Tottenham on Saturday.

The Brazilian suffered an abrasion on the cornea of his left eye after being caught by Jan Vertonghen's flailing arm and it has impacted on his vision.

However, Klopp remains optimistic the forward – who performs a key role in the side – will be fit.

"Not definitely (fit) but yeah. He couldn't play today, no chance, but we all hope there is a chance tomorrow. That is good news it will be close," added the German.

Roberto Firmino
Roberto Firmino suffered an abrasion on the cornea of his left eye at the weekend (Tim Ireland/AP)

"Everyone who saw the pictures after the game was shocked. It was a big relief for all of us.

"It is painful and no one needs that but he will be fine – we don't know exactly when. Another 30 hours before the game so we will see."

If Firmino does not make it that would present Daniel Sturridge with, incredibly, the chance of the first Champions League start of his Liverpool career.

Klopp's other options are restricted with minor injuries to Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi, although he could also bring in Xherdan Shaqiri and move Mohamed Salah more central.

"He (Sturridge) will be ready," said Klopp.

"If Bobby can't play and Dom (Solanke) and Divock (Origi) can't then we are short of options because both of them are a doubt because they got little injuries in the under-23 game with Swansea.

"We thought it made sense (for them to play) but they did not come through without any problems.

"There is no problem with the first line-up, only with having options."


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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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