Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is wary of the trap which awaits his side at Huddersfield as he looks to make light of an international break which was not kind with injuries.
The German faces best friend David Wagner at the John Smith’s Stadium with fitness doubts over Mohamed Salah (hamstring) and Sadio Mane (broken thumb) with midfielder Naby Keita (hamstring) already ruled out after his injury playing for Guinea.
Before the break, Klopp labelled the Nations League as “senseless” and he has not changed his opinion in the intervening fortnight.
“Only in football everyone seems to be interested in now having only big competitions where you can get promoted or relegated,” he said.
“You don’t want to see (world heavyweight champion Anthony) Joshua fighting every second night, it’s not possible. Do we want to have opera every night or every two months?
“I like competition, of course, but at one point someone has to step back and think ‘Okay, wait, wait, wait.
“If they don’t perform I am angry so how can we make sure they perform?”
It has added a degree of complication to the trip to third-bottom Huddersfield, who have yet to win a match and have not scored a goal at home since mid-April.
“I use the word ‘trap’. If you look at the table and see one team (with) three points, you say it’s a clear situation but it isn’t,” he added.
“I speak a lot to Dave – not this week, obviously – and I know the atmosphere in the club is still brilliant and we will need to be ready for a really tough game.”
Friday was Wagner’s 47th birthday but Klopp is hoping his compatriot is not celebrating for a second successive day.
“We don’t send each other presents any more, we are past that age, but I hope I don’t give him one (on Saturday).”
A year ago Huddersfield beat Manchester United to end a six-game winless run and Wagner is hoping history repeats itself.
“At least it gives us the feeling it’s possible (against Liverpool), because in football you never know what happens,” he said.
“And I don’t think we were on the best run before we played Manchester United either, so whatever happens before you play doesn’t count on the Saturday.
“We have to focus on ourselves, absolutely. The good thing is I know more of what is in the opposition manager’s head than I usually know, this is the only good thing.
“But how we prepare, how we analyse and our meetings will be like we do with all our opponents, with maybe a little bit more knowledge of what is going on in the opposition manager’s head, nothing more.”