Jurgen Klopp has explained why he will not risk Adam Lallana against Brighton as the Liverpool star continues his recovery from a long-term hamstring problem.
The midfielder was not part of the Reds' squad that triumphed 3-0 over Stoke City in midweek, and some Liverpool fans had feared that Lallana had suffered a setback in his rehab programme.
Klopp sought to address those concerns in his pre-match press conference, and told the Liverpool Echo that the 26-year-old's absence was merely a precaution after such a lengthy time on the sidelines.
He said: “Adam felt the muscle more than he should. We just need to be careful. It’s nothing, really.
“After a really long and serious injury, it’s a very busy time coming up and we want him in the best shape with as much resistance against the different things that can happen as possible.
“That’s why we left him out of the squad at Stoke. It’s not a real setback. It’s unlikely he will be involved at Brighton but we’ll see.”
Klopp also revealed that Joe Gomez would likely start alongside Dejan Lovren at the Amex Stadium due to the potential unavailability of Ragnar Klavan and the injured Joel Matip.
He continued: “I hope Ragnar will be okay. We will see how long Joel will be out. He’s out for Saturday. That’s bad enough but now we must see how long it will take. I’m not sure in this moment."
The German also commented on Andy Robertson's frustration at not being handed more minutes on the pitch since his summer switch from Hull City.
The Scottish left-back has played second fiddle to Alberto Moreno for much of the season, and Klopp admitted it was less than ideal that the 23-year-old was not being offered more game time due to Moreno's form.
He added: “It’s not an ideal situation to be honest.Andy has made big steps. He had to improve in certain parts of the game but he knew that. It’s all good.
“It’s still early for him in terms of being with us and adapting to certain things. But he’s in a very good way and he’s close (to playing).”