Jurgen Klopp returns against Shrewsbury after Covid absence

Jurgen Klopp returns to the touchline for the FA Cup visit of Shrewsbury after the Liverpool boss recovers from Covid-19 illness – but Reds still remain depleted in numbers after outbreak

  • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is back on the touchline vs Shrewsbury Town 
  • The German boss missed the Chelsea match after testing positive for Covid-19 
  • Klopp had only mild symptoms but he will return to Anfield after he recovered
  • He wrote his programme notes before he knew if he was able to be in attendance

Liverpool will have Jurgen Klopp back on the touchline for Sunday’s FA Cup third round tie against Shrewsbury following a Covid outbreak that has led to a loan player being recalled to fill numbers.

Klopp, who has been isolating and missed the Premier League match against Chelsea last weekend after having to isolate, has had only mild symptoms and will return to Anfield after he passed further tests.

Liverpool confirmed his return on social media shortly before midday, two hours before kick-off at Anfield.   

Liverpool will welcome Jurgen Klopp back on the touchline against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup

‘What I can say is that I’m doing OK and looking forward to getting back to work,’ Klopp detailed in his programme notes for Sunday’s game, which were written before he knew for sure if he would be able to be on the touchline.

‘I thank God for the vaccination, because I did feel unwell during this but fortunately only mild illness really, and I’m certain that’s because I’ve been privileged to have my jabs, including the booster. 

‘Being disconnected from the team and staff was a strange experience. It hasn’t happened often in my career and never for a length of time such as a full week.

‘Not that I needed it, but it did serve as a reminder how blessed I am to have such wonderfully talented staff supporting me and the boys. I didn’t worry for one second that the quality of leadership for the players would be impacted.’

‘We hope Jurgen will be back. Of course,’ assistant-manager Peter Krawietz had said on Saturday. ‘He is well so far, he feels fine. 

‘The regulations are how they are and he has to do more tests. We hope he will be fine to be with us on Sunday.’

Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg was postponed against Arsenal on Thursday after a high number of Covid cases forced their training ground to close.

Though a number of first-team and under-23 players remain unavailable, the club can put a side out to face League One Shrewsbury.

Joel Matip is back in training and in contention for the Reds after missing the Chelsea tie

Defender Joel Matip has returned to training after missing the trip to Stamford Bridge with Alisson and Roberto Firmino while young midfielder Leighton Clarkson has returned from his loan at Blackburn and will be considered.

‘We have one loan player back. He will probably join the squad tomorrow,’ confirmed Krawietz.

‘We were searching for options nearly everywhere but we have found enough players to build a team and squad for Sunday. It will be an exciting game. We want the young players to be the opposite of nervous. We will make them feel comfortable.’

Krawietz, who has worked alongside Klopp for 20 years at Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool admitted the past week had been strange.

‘This situation was bizarre, you can believe me. It was difficult for all of us,’ he reflected.

‘We had to shut the training ground and find solutions like we did in lockdown thanks to our fantastic athletics department led by Andreas Kornmayer.

The Covid outbreak meant Liverpool were temporarily forced to close their training facilities

‘The ones who could go outside could go for a run. For the players who had to quarantine at home, we gave them individual programmes day-by-day.

‘It was a busy week somehow even if we were sitting at home. The mobile phones were glowing!’

Liverpool beat Shrewsbury at the same stage of the FA Cup with a weakened team two years ago and Krawietz doesn’t want Sunday’s team to feel like underodgs.

‘Shrewsbury will be tough because of their quality, you can see they are well-managed, but we still have the idea to be dominant on the pitch,’ he said.

‘We want to win the ball as quickly as possible and play forward and finish situations. The players will be part of a team following our football way, being aggressive and of course playing good football.’

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