London: Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Fabinho will miss tomorrow’s match against Watford after playing for Brazil on Thursday and will instead fly to Madrid for their midweek Champions League game, manager Juergen Klopp said.
The duo were in the Brazil squad that beat Uruguay 4-1 in their World Cup qualifier, but Klopp said Liverpool’s early kickoff meant it made no sense to involve them on Saturday with a Champions League group game against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Klopp said the club made a request for a scheduling change that would have allowed them to play but neither the League nor Watford agreed.
Not in our hands
“I’m not frustrated. Somebody decided to give Brazil the opportunity to play last night and then somebody made the decision for us to play on Saturday at 12:30. It’s not in our hands,” Klopp told reporters.
“Atletico are not playing at the weekend and they are our next opponents in the Champions League - that would not happen here. We have known it for a while so we have decided that the boys would not be here and they would go straight to Madrid.”
Having earlier this week played in Colombia, which is on the UK’s red list, Klopp added that the pair will return to England on Thursday to avoid the 10-day quarantine. Right back Trent Alexander-Arnold and forward Diogo Jota are available again but midfielder Thiago Silva is still sidelined with an injury. Klopp also criticised England after Curtis Jones was injured on international duty with the Under-21 side.
“When we talk about federations... It’s hard to get in touch with them (England). They played Andorra, really important he played there, but he came back injured and he is not available for tomorrow.” Klopp also said Watford made a harsh decision to part company with Xisco Munoz and appoint Claudio Ranieri, but he was not surprised by the club’s revolving door for managers.
Ranieri is the club’s sixth manager in just over two years and the 15th since the Pozzo family bought the club nearly a decade ago.
“How can you be surprised if Watford makes a change? I respect all football teams, I respect Claudio Ranieri a lot. But as a football manager it’s really harsh how Watford deals with managers,” Klopp said.
“You learn the name of a new colleague and he’s already gone again, that’s pretty much how it is. I don’t like it and I must say that... (I’ve worked) six years in this country and I don’t know how many managers I’ve faced in the Watford dugout.”