- Jurgen Klopp confirms Georginio Wijnaldum and Ben Woodburn will miss Porto game
- Both recently suffered with illness and missed Newcastle win
- Woodburn had been tipped to earn Champions League run-out
- SEE MORE: Pundit compares Jordan Henderson to three title-winning midfielders
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool will be without Georginio Wijnaldum and Ben Woodburn for Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 second leg at home to Porto.
It marks a potentially unfortunate missed opportunity for Woodburn in particular, with the Reds’ commanding 5-0 lead having possibly carved an opening for the teenager to earn a valuable run-out on the European stage.
Both men have been absent for the club’s previous two Premier League fixtures having suffered from a similar stomach bug – which Klopp pulled no punches in explaining prior to Saturday’s win over Newcastle.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “Ben trained yesterday but he looked three kilos less, to be honest.”
“Gini still hasn’t trained with the team. He had a little bit of an athletic programme, a little bit of running – not too much.”
“They were really out for a few days. They are coming back but it will be too early for both of them.”
Klopp also quashed suggestions of mass changes to his team in preparation for Saturday’s trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford, although didn’t altogether rule out minor rotations.
Adam Lallana looks a good bet to slot into the starting lineup as he strives to rediscover his momentum after a lengthy injury layoff during the first half of the season.
He could line up alongside James Milner and skipper Jordan Henderson, who starred in last weekend’s win over Rafa Benitez’s struggling Magpies and will be keen to gain some momentum.
One of Liverpool’s notorious front three could be set for a valuable rest, with Klopp having the option of pushing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into an advanced wide role in place of either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah.
Regardless of his importance against Jose Mourinho’s men, Roberto Firmino has been deemed undroppable by his manager in recent weeks and is unlikely to be removed from the team.
He could, however, be an early second-half substitution if the hosts manage to extend their advantage.