Klopp: Everyone is ‘guilty’ for pre-WC injuries

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said the football world is “guilty” for the amount of players set to miss the World Cup through injury.

A number of high-profile players including Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Diogo Jota and Timo Werner have been ruled out of the tournament through injury, with the tournament starting in Qatar on Nov. 20.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

Premier League stars Son Heung-Min, Reece James, Kyle Walker and Ben Chilwell also run of the risk of missing the World Cup later this month and Klopp hit out at the scheduling of the tournament and said injuries were bound to happen.

“I hate this subject. These problems were so clear and nobody mentioned it for one time until 3-4 weeks before the World Cup,” he told a news conference on Friday.

“This specific problem where players are injured in a season and can’t play in the World Cup is not new. After a long season, it happens everywhere in the world but now, we’re starting the World Cup a week after the last [league] game.

“Nobody cares about us and how we deal with it. Should I ask players before the Southampton and Derby games: ‘Really, do you want to play?’

“We are all guilty for letting it happen in the first place and now we have the situation and have to go along with it. For the players who get injured and cannot play [the World Cup] is a disaster but how can we change that?”

Klopp also heaped praise on summer signing Darwin Nunez who scored in Liverpool’s 2-0 Champions League win over Napoli in midweek, taking his tally to five goals in the last seven games across all competitions.

“Big steps, big steps, the boy’s an incredible package,” Klopp added. “He’s a real threat in the finishing area, involved in a lot of things.

“He is always an option to pass to, to cross the ball to. He came on [against Napoli], didn’t play extremely long but was involved in both goals, so big steps.”

– Notebook: Liverpool lead Madrid in race to sign Bellingham
FIFA World Cup 2022: Schedule, teams and how to watch

The victory against Napoli eased the pressure on Klopp following two straight league defeats against relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.

Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from those setbacks when his team travel to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

“It’s a massive game for us. We know Tottenham are well organised, defending with a high level and counter attacking. We saw their offensive power in the last two games when they had to chase. Spurs are in a good moment,” Klopp added.

“After Leeds I couldn’t have felt worse, but then you beat a team in form and that gives you a lift. It is normal. We will try to make sure we will feel like we did after Napoli.”

Veteran midfielder James Milner is unavailable after suffering a head injury against Napoli but Jordan Henderson is set to return from a minor injury.

Liverpool, who finished second last season, have 16 points from 12 games, eight points adrift of the final Champions League qualifying place.

Information from Reuters was included in this report.

Source link