Liverpool Injury News: Will Star Striker Roberto Firmino Miss Crucial Merseyside Derby?
Star striker Roberto Firmino was out for the midweek demolition of Watford by Liverpool, a 5-0 rout coming after the Reds had failed to pull ahead in the title race after three draws in four and now reasserting their credentials to win their first ever Premier League title.
According to his Instagram account, though he wasn’t attending the game, he was loving his teammate Sadio Mane’s cheeky back-heel goal for his second of a brace, from home.
The 27-year-old Firmino came off in the first-half of the previous weekend’s match against Manchester United at Old Trafford, to be replaced by Daniel Sturridge.
His manager Jurgen Klopp said in the aftermath of the 0-0 draw with Man Utd:
If Bobby goes down and leaves the pitch it is always a bad sign because he is a pretty hard boy,
The news is made even more worrying with the looming Merseyside Derby, knowing that city rivals Everton would love to dent their chances of winning the Premier League when the Reds travel across Stanley Park to Goodison on Sunday afternoon.
Ahead of welcoming the Hornets on Wednesday, Klopp had spoken about the possibility of a Firmino return sooner than expected, however, the German offered some very positive news about the forward, who completes a titillating attacking triptych with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah:
He has a big chance for the derby.
Writing Bobby off is a big mistake because he recovers pretty quick.
Should he have not recovered in time, this might open up the opportunity again for either Sturridge or Divock Origi to feature at the head of Klopp’s XI.
In mid-week, Origi was allowed to operate in the centre, flanked by Salah and Mane, for only his second start of the Premier League season and first full 90 minutes, which he returned with a goal.
Summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri could also operate slightly more forward than his usual role if needs be. Everton are coming off their own superb win, a 3-0 triumph over Cardiff City to be buoyed ahead of the derby.
Firmino has nine league goals this season, and five assists. A member of the Liverpool set-up since 2015, he has bagged a total of 61 goals in 180 appearances since moving from Hoffenheim.
Everton versus Liverpool kicks off at 16:15 (GMT), Sunday 3rd March.