LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp is content with his team injury situation but worried about the safety of Liverpool fans ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final return against Roma in Italy.
Liverpool gained a 5-2 advantage last Tuesday but Klopp is aware of how Roma recovered from a three-goal deficit in the quarter-finals against Barcelona.
At least he will have everyone fit and available, with the exception of England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was ruled out for both the rest of the season and England’s World Cup campaign after suffering a knee injury in the first leg.
Top-scoring Mohamed Salah, captain Jordan Henderson and defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are expected to recover from minor injuries picked up in Saturday’s disappointing goalless home draw against Paul Lambert’s Stoke. Senegal winger Sadio Mane missed missed the Stoke game with a thigh strain but Klopp said: “Sadio didn’t play to be sure he will be fine for Wednesday.”
Officials from Liverpool and Roma and the security services have held a number of meetings to try to prevent any recurrence of the scenes outside Anfield before the first leg when a gang of Roma ultras, armed with various weapons including a hammer, attacked Liverpool fans.
One Liverpool fan remains in serious condition in hospital following an incident which led to the arrest of four Italians.
English fans have been a regular target for attack by local hooligans before, during and after games in the Italian capital against both Roma and Lazio.
Klopp issued his own note of caution to Liverpool fans ahead of Wednesday’s game. He said: ““Hopefully police forces come together from all the countries and nothing happens. But if you don’t feel safe stay in the hotel and we do the job without the people. Nobody should be afraid. I don’t know anything about history. I have never been to Rome. So common sense please.”
Roma prepared for the return tie by defeating ChievoVerona 4-1 in Serie A with goals from Patrik Schick (nine minutes), Edin Dzeko (40 and 67) plus Stephan El Shaarawy (65) despite having Juan Jesus sent off shortly after halftime.
Victory saw Roma move up – temporarily at least – to third place but far adrift of Juventus and Napoli.