Jurgen Klopp reveals Thiago is ‘looking good’ for the Champions League final as he talks about the future of Sadio Mane and the Parisian pitch | Soccer News

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that “it looks good” for Thiago and Fabinho to be fit enough to play for Liverpool in the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday.

The midfielder had doubts about injury, but speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of the game in Paris, the Liverpool boss suggested they would be available.

“It looks good for Thiago and Fabinho,” Klopp said. “Fabinho trained yesterday and Thiago will train later today. The mood is good, very good. Really excited to be here now and to have a sense of stadium, location and that’s all good.”

Parisian pitch could be a problem

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he doesn’t care about the state of the field at the Stade de France

One unexpected concern for Liverpool may be the state of the Stade de France stadium, which looks less than its best, just put in right this week.

“Usually when I say the pitch looks new, it’s good news,” he said. “This pitch is new since yesterday, that’s not the best news. But it is [the same] for both teams.

“We will do a normal session as planned, it is our moment of the season. I saw the referees with their session and the ball falls normally. You can see the lines where they put the pitch and that is not normal.

“Someone thought it was a good idea to bring the pitch the day before, that’s interesting! It didn’t kill my mood for a second. We’d have played on a petanque. If both sides are fine, I’m fine with it.

“I hope no one is telling a story that Klopp is moaning about pitch, I am not. It could just be different.”

Liverpool players show no signs of concern

Nick Wright of Sky Sports at the Stade de France:

If the game really cares about the Liverpool players, then they did a good job of hiding it during their opening training session at the Stade de France on Friday evening.

Klopp’s squad looked relaxed as they engaged in a number of low-intensity exercises in front of the viewing media, laughing and joking with each other while shooting and chatting with each other and with members of the coaching staff.

The grass for the surface on which they were trained was reportedly grown near Barcelona in Spain and transported to France earlier this week. It looks pretty good at a glance, but on closer inspection it is possible to see a few lines showing where it was placed.

It may not be ideal, but it should be remembered that this arena was only named as the venue for Saturday’s game in February after Russia was stripped of having the final in St. Petersburg.

The Stade de France was already booked for a concert by French band Indochine last Saturday, prompting the rush to install a fresh surface in time for tomorrow’s big start.

Revenge of the 2018 final

Klopp certainly hopes this game is very different from the previous meeting in the Champions League final between these two clubs, when two errors by goalkeeper Loris Karius led to a 3-1 defeat in Kyiv. Mohamed Salah was also badly injured in that game.

“Whatever you do, you have to gain experience,” Klopp said when asked about the game. “When you do work on the first day, it’s not the best day you’ve ever done. You get little success and things here and there, and then on the big stage, you have to deliver.

“We delivered that night and the circumstances hit us. We arrived on almost three wheels. I don’t think we even had a full bench, key players came back from injuries.

“Mo happened, then our goalkeeper got a concussion. It wasn’t after, it was while. So it was important. You have to learn to win. Nobody tells you that. I had to learn it the hard way. I lost a lot. Of finals in my life and fortunately in the last few we were able to win.

“But now, we play a team that has never lost a final. So, the boys have evolved a lot in recent years. The club is in a good place, everyone is connected. We know we are part of a great club and meanwhile the boys are just the right players for this great club. We are in a good moment and we are ready for this final. “

Hand in the form of his life

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he “couldn’t care less” about speculation linking Sadio Mane with a move to Bayern Munich.

Another focus of Klopp’s pre-match press conference was the scorer of the Liverpool goal that night in Kyiv, Sadio Mane. The Liverpool boss has asked questions from reporters in Germany about talks about a possible move to Bayern Munich for the forward.

Klopp had to deal with a star player appearing on the verge of a move to Bayern ahead of the 2013 Champions League final – the future of Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze overshadowed Borussia Dortmund’s preparations for the game against them at Wembley.

“It’s not the first time Bayern Munich’s rumors have surfaced before a big game, so no problems at all,” Klopp said. “Bayern Munich’s rumors, I couldn’t care less. Sadio is completely focused on the game and he knows how important it is for him and us.

“Sadio is in the shape of this life, sure. It’s a joy to watch him coach and in games. We ask him a lot and football has asked him a lot with a lot of finals.”

Having won the African Cup of Nations with Senegal earlier this year, a compatriot from Mane asked if a win here would increase the player’s chances of winning the Golden Ball.

“When you think about how these championships are won, then I think so. You’re either Ronaldo, Messi or whoever wins the Champions League. Winning increases his chances for sure,” Klopp added.

Revenge will not distract Salah

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shares a fun moment with a German reporter

The same could be said of Salah, who even spoke of revenge in his mind for being forced out of the camp with a dislocated shoulder in Kyiv, after a brawl with Sergio Ramos. Could the memory of that motivate him or act as a distraction?

“No one has to worry about Mo and he’s too much. We all lost that day, he got injured early in the game. He was in good shape then and now. We’re all motivated by different things, we have 25. or 26 players.

“It’s not the only incentive in Mo’s case. But it’s normal that he wants to fix things. We want to fix things. Tomorrow, if I show the video of the game and it’s the only incentive, it doesn’t make sense.

“It’s one of the reasons, but it’s not the only reason.”

Ramos is no longer a Real Madrid player but Liverpool will face some familiar faces on Saturday. Karim Benzema even won that night.

“It’s the most decorated club, some players can win it a fifth time, the manager can get it a fourth. We can’t get this experience all of a sudden.” Does that make Madrid favorites?

Could Madrid be a favorite?

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp thinks Real Madrid’s history in the Champions League makes them favorites for Saturday’s final.

“I don’t have an easy answer. If you look at experience and how Real Madrid celebrated the returns – which were crazy – then I would say Real Madrid.

“I want us to think on the same level, being completely ourselves. When we’re at the top of our game, it’s really hard to play against us.

“That’s my only concern right now, but of course, the confidence level of the Madrid players is incredibly high. You have to be sure of yourself on these matters.”

Therefore, don’t expect a lot of tactical surprises from Liverpool.

“If I do something surprising for my players, they might think I’m nervous,” he explained. “I believe when you do the right things all the time, then it’s the right thing to do in the final – but it has to be at the highest level.

“I want us to think on the same level, being completely ourselves. When we’re at the top of our game, it’s really hard to play against us.

“That’s my only concern right now, but of course, the confidence level of the Madrid players is incredibly high. You have to be sure of yourself on these issues.”

Therefore, don’t expect a lot of tactical surprises from Liverpool.

“If I do something surprising for my players, they might think I’m nervous,” he explained. “I believe when you do the right things all the time, then it’s the right thing to do in the final – but it has to be at the highest level.

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