Key man still missing for Liverpool in CL semi return leg; Klopp makes massive Thiago claim

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Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino will miss the Champions League semi-final second leg against Villarreal as he has not fully recovered from a foot injury.

The Brazil international has missed the last four matches with the foot problem and, while he will travel with the squad to Spain, he is not in contention.

Klopp stated Firmino’s issue is a “strain” in the middle bone in his foot, though stated: “Bobby is now running.

“It’s nothing serious but it’s very painful each step. He will travel with us but won’t be involved in the squad yet. Then we had issues with stomach bug (Tsimikas, Jones, Origi).

Klopp, however, revealed that Divock Origi returns after illness ruled him out at the weekend. Centre-back Ibrahima Konate, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho and Mohamed Salah – all rested for Saturday’s win at Newcastle – are set to return.

Liverpool go into the second-leg tie with a 2-0 lead from the Anfield game. The winner will face either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final.

Thiago out of this world

Meanwhile, Klopp claims that in-form midfielder Thiago would grace any team in the world right now.

The Spaniard has been outstanding in recent weeks and has become a key part of Liverpool’s midfield engine room.

And speaking about Thiago ahead of the Villarreal clash, the Reds boss said: “In the shape he is now, Thiago could play in each team in the world. In fact, not only would he play in it, but he would be the outstanding footballer.

“All Thiago needs is to be fit and to gain some rhythm, and then he shows his best football. Physically, as long as he’s in the right shape, he shows everyone how good he is. He was injured when he arrived here.”

Spain boss Luis Enrique is spoiled for choice in midfield, with Atletico Madrid duo Koke and Marcos Llorente taking up the central spots in their most recent fixture against Iceland in March.

And Klopp added: “Of course, Spain have a lot of options and are an incredibly talented football team. At this moment, Thiago is showing his best football and is the outstanding footballer.”

READ MORE: Klopp fires back with question of his own after being baited by Spanish journalist

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