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Manchester United can beat Liverpool today – but they might have to drop Cristiano Ronaldo


As a person, Klopp talks about a player who bounces into Kirkby every day with that trademark smile beaming. He is a person whose work-rate is appreciated by his team-mates and will be important when they face Manchester United today and attempt to press their backline into mistakes.

“Everybody loves it because, obviously, sometimes you think he is a bit short of getting the praise for the effort he puts in. I am pretty sure he was the player who ran the most in the last game against Atletico, 100% he was the attacking player who ran the most, and it says a lot. He is just a brilliant player, it really is a joy to work with him,” Klopp said.

“The way we play, it is not impossible without him. We obviously have options, but the way we started playing years ago was because Bobby could play the role. So he was very influential in all the things we did.

“He is a very positive, but at least with me very calm, person. He is somebody that everybody loves Bobby, I have no doubt about that, the whole team. How could you not? The midfielders, if he was not a nice person they would still love him because he is doing all the work for them.

“Obviously Mo and Sadio love him because he passes them the ball, even if it is not the last pass always but the second to last, all the midfielders love him because he is chasing all the offensive players of the opponents in their traps.

“The last line loves him for the same reasons. Then Ali (Alisson Becker) and him are best friends. How can you not love Bobby Firmino?  There is no reason for it: great guy.” 

Last season saw him fail to reach double figures for goals but in his six full seasons at the club it was the first time, although he has not come close to the 27 goals of 2017/18.

“When he scores it is always this extra little bit of joy because we always have these discussions which are not ridiculous but we never had the discussion [within the club] of Bobby not scoring enough but we face the questions quite frequently and then it appears when he does not do that but he wouldn’t play if he would not be incredibly important anyway,” Klopp added.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will today be facing Jadon Sancho, who like Klopp was previously at Borussia Dortmund. The Liverpool manager is wary of the England forward’s capability despite him still settling at United.

“Jadon Sancho is a world class talent, definitely, and he has all the things you need to become really one of the best players in the world in the future, that’s how it is. But he’s still very young,” he said.

“At Dortmund they were full of praise about him, rightly so. I saw a lot of games of him playing outstandingly well. And this is a normal situation. People lose patience a little bit quick and don’t forget the options United has in this position. Mason Greenwood – wow – what a talent he is.

“So I think that he has maybe pushed Jadon out of position. Mason can play in the centre but there is no space any more, so maybe they will share. But it’s a problem that you want to have as a manager, 100%. So everything will be fine for Jadon – we just hope not on Sunday.”


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