Liverpool have been handed a big injury blow ahead of their UEFA Champions League tie with RB Leipzig, with Roberto Firmino reportedly doubtful.
According to Sky Sports, the Brazilian has suffered a knock on his knee, causing him to miss training ahead of the second-leg in Budapest.
His potential absence is surely set to be a sore one for the Reds and Jurgen Klopp.
Put simply, Firmino is Liverpool first-choice forward. In five years at Anfield, he has made 281 appearances, scoring 84 goals and providing 67 assists.
The former Hoffenheim striker is one of the players that Klopp has relied on more so than any other on Merseyside. Since the German’s arrival, Firmino has appeared in just under 90% of the available matches, with Klopp even labelling him as a “difference-maker”.
It’s hard to argue with that assessment considering not only his record but also his pivotal moments in the UEFA Champions League for the club.
Whilst he hasn’t had quite the desired impact on this season’s edition of the competition, only making two starts in the group stages, he will have been hoping to find that golden touch in Europe once again.
After all, there is not really a viable option for his replacement as a natural striker.
Divock Origi could be called upon but he gets nowhere near the Brazilian’s contribution on the pitch, with Firmino superior to him in shots, key passes, dribbles and pass accuracy per match according to WhoScored.
Diogo Jota could also deputise but neither he, Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane are natural centre-forwards and considering Klopp’s reliance and favouring of Firmino, the German will likely be gutted to not have the Brazilian to call upon later this evening.