Jurgen Klopp Gives Naby Keita Injury Update Ahead Of Liverpool's Belgrade Challenge
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has refused to be drawn on the topic of the omission of Xherdan Shaqiri from the squad he’s taken to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
The Swiss international was left at home due to political sensitivities and related security concerns.
Shaqiri, a Kosovar of Albanian descent, was fined by FIFA for making a two-headed eagle gesture, a symbol of Albanian identity, after scoring for his adoptive home nation against Serbia during the World Cup in this summer.
"It's not sad, it's the world, politics always has an influence on life,” said Klopp. “We are here to play football. We didn't want a story beside a football story and that's why we decided."
“There is a statement on our website which everyone can read. We are here to play football and that's what we want to focus on."
That football will be played in from of the notoriously vociferous home support in the Rajko Mitić Stadium and the defender Andy Robertson, speaking alongside his manager, played down the significance of that.
“We have experience of playing in these stadiums and we have to focus on the job in hand,” said the Scot.
“Hopefully we can quieten the crowd and get the three points that we need."
Robertson and his teammates may have the assistance of the midfielder Naby Keita to help them to that end, with Klopp revealing that the Guinean is close to a return from back complaint.
"He trained with the first team for the first time yesterday,” he said. “I have to make a decision tomorrow, it's very good to have him back for the upcoming weeks."
Proceedings get underway at 17:55GMT tomorrow evening and you can follow proceedings through our live match centre here.