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Darwin Nunez is a ‘last minute call’ for Liverpool’s clash with Nottingham Forest, but Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate could return soon and Reds boss reveals hopes for Steven Gerrard

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Darwin Nunez is ‘last minute’ call for Liverpool’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

The Reds boss was speaking ahead of his side’s away clash against Forest with Liverpool seeking four wins on the bounce for the first time this season.

AFP

Klopp is back enjoying himself with Liverpool starting to click

A difficult start to the campaign saw the Anfield side fall away from a Premier League title challenge, but they now seem to be gathering some momentum.

A formation change has seen a 7-1 drubbing of Rangers in the Champions League followed up with 1-0 wins over Manchester City and West Ham, and improved performances from a number of players.

Last time out summer signing Nunez shone as the match-winner against West Ham with his header decisive in the victory, but he was substituted in the 57th minute.

Klopp confirmed the Uruguayan had felt some muscle pain at half-time, and it will be a late decision to see if he’s fit to face Forest.

“He is one of the cases where we need to have a look because he was not injured,” Klopp said. “But he felt something and I don’t know if he feels that still today and what the medical department tells me then, we have to see.

“The game was really intense; both games were really intense, so we have some players we need to have a closer look at again to see if we can bring them in again from the beginning or bring on. 

Nunez was incredibly lively against West Ham

AFP

Nunez was incredibly lively against West Ham


“It’s really a short turnaround because we play tomorrow at 12.30, so we will see. I will wait for the last minute pretty much to make my final decisions. There are no ‘injuries’, but knocks here and there and I will get further information later today.”

There may be more boosts around the corner for Liverpool though as the returning Ibrahima Konate and Naby Keita could ease the pain, although Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz are out until after the World Cup

“[Keita] was only involved in parts [of training], but will be from Monday on,” Klopp said. “I think, like Ibou – both will be involved in full training after the Nottingham Forest game, which is obviously good. 

“But then Naby especially needs time, Ibou not that much because he was not out that long. Naby is a bit behind [Alex] Oxlade [Chamberlain] – Oxlade trains now for four or five days with us, so that is better but he was out for a long time as well.”

Keita is on his way back but his future with Liverpool is up in the air

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Keita is on his way back but his future with Liverpool is up in the air

Klopp also commented on transfer speculation regarding Keita, saying: “What happens in the summer no-one knows at the moment,” while confirming he himself will be present on the touchline at the City Ground.

The German was sent off during the win over Man City for unleashing a barrage on a linesman, and after being charged by the Football Association, he is now awaiting a likely ban.

“I cannot make any decisions – we just follow the process, the completely normal process,” he said. In this moment, I expect being on the bench tomorrow yes, but I don’t know 100 per cent. 

“It’s the normal process. We are not now too used to it but we have enough people who know how it goes and we did everything we had to do.”

Klopp’s is awaiting a final call on his moment of madness against City

GETTY

Klopp’s is awaiting a final call on his moment of madness against City

Despite Klopp’s own managerial suspension concerns, another Premier League coach has suffered a decisive blow this week.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was sacked as Aston Villa boss in the wake of a humbling defeat away to Fulham, and unsurprisingly, Klopp was asked to comment on the club great.

“I’m very sure he will come back from that,” he said. “I’ve known him seven years in Liverpool, even with not meeting very often for different reasons; he was in America. 

“Then when he was in the Academy we obviously could create a bit of a closer relationship and I always followed him obviously. We had a little exchange this morning but nothing too deep or not a long conversation. 

Klopp is backing Gerrard for a quick comeback

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Klopp is backing Gerrard for a quick comeback

“I can imagine it’s disappointing for him because of the ambition he had and the things he wanted to achieve with Aston Villa. That’s obviously not cool. But I don’t think we have to worry now about Stevie. As he said himself yesterday after the game, he knows the game long enough and these kinds of things can happen.

“How always in life, we all get knocks here and there – it’s all about how you respond. You all know Stevie still better than I do; he always came back and he will come back from that, no doubt about that. 

“Things like this can happen. A lot of great managers out there had to leave their previous clubs for different reasons, some of the best did that quite frequently during their career and showed up somewhere else, learned from it, found a better situation, whatever. 

“He will be back 100 per cent. But now I hope actually that he takes a bit of time for him, because since he finished his career he was pretty much working all the time, if I’m right, so maybe use it now a little bit for himself, to recharge.”

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