Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hopes to have Roberto Firmino available for the Merseyside derby against Everton, NjenjeMediaNews reports.
Brazil forward Firmino sat out due to a foot injury on Tuesday as Mohamed Salah’s double, as well as goals from Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane, led the Reds to an emphatic 4-0 win over Manchester United, sending Liverpool top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester City facing Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.
Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games against United, winning five and drawing three, the joint-longest run any team has enjoyed against the Red Devils in the competition (also Chelsea between 2013 and 2016).
After the dominant victory, in which Mane started as a central striker with Diogo Jota named on the bench, Klopp revealed Firmino had suffered a knock in last Saturday’s FA Cup win over City but was hopeful the 30-year-old would be fit to face relegation-threatened Everton.
“Bobby was not involved because in the very last situation of the City game he got something on his foot,” Klopp told Sky Sports after the win. “It’s not really bad.”
Pressed on whether Firmino will be fit for Sunday’s derby, the Reds boss added: “We hope so.
“Actually, we were a bit worried, but the scan was fine. But it’s still very painful and that’s why there was no chance [against United].”
Injuries and the form of Liverpool’s other attackers has seen Firmino restricted to just 16 starts in all competitions this season, although the Brazilian has still managed 11 goals and four assists during his 31 total appearances.
Firmino has yet to score against Everton in 12 appearances, but has finished on the losing side just once against the Toffees since joining Liverpool in 2015, albeit that was in the corresponding fixture at Anfield last season when the visitors won 2-0 – their only derby victory since October 2010.
Liverpool hit four past Everton at Goodison Park earlier this season but despite having scored nine goals against United without reply after winning 5-0 at Old Trafford in October, Klopp insists his desire is not to “humiliate” opponents, acknowledging that superiority over their rivals “will not last forever”.
“I’m not here to humiliate opponents or whatever,” Klopp said during his post-match press conference. “That is absolutely not the reason. We did what we had to do, and we won the games, that’s how it is.
“Whether it is a derby or not it is not easy to play against us. That’s why the 9-0, I’m not interested. That’s really something for the supporters, if they want to celebrate 9-0 then they can do that, but it’s not for me.
“We wanted three points and if it had been 1-0 twice I would feel exactly the same, and I know it will not last forever. They will strike back, they will be there again, this club is too powerful, but in the moment we were too good, that’s the truth.”
Only once in United’s history have they suffered a heavier combined defeat in reverse league fixtures against the same side, shipping 11 goals without reply against Sunderland in 1892-93.