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Darwin Nunez is a doubt for this weekend's seismic title battle as Liverpool travel to Arsenal on Sunday, with the Uruguayan striker receiving a stamp on his foot in Wednesday’s win over Chelsea at Anfield.
Nunez left the stadium in a protective boot and was in some pain after the match. Though Liverpool’s star striker saw an X-ray on his foot come back in a positive light, Nunez has swelling and is touch and go whether he makes the trip to Arsenal.
‘A little side story you don’t know, I don’t know if Darwin will be available or not because after 20 minutes, someone stepped on his foot,’ said Klopp on Friday morning. ‘It was very painful after the game.
‘He only took the (football) boot of the game off after the game because he didn’t want to see it before. He knew there was something. He left the stadium in a boot and it was not a football boot.
‘Nothing broken, x-ray clear but swollen. We have to see if he can get his foot back in a football boot or not. That takes time. I didn’t see him this morning so we have to wait a little bit. But going through this game with the pain he had, that shows so much more.’
Darwin Nunez could miss Liverpool's match against Arsenal on Sunday with a foot injury
Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the striker had to leave Anfield in a protective boot after 'someone stepped on his foot' during the win over Chelsea
Klopp was referring to the fact Nunez, who has scored 11 goals and assisted 11 more in all competitions this season, struck the crossbar four times on Wednesday night - a record for a single Premier League game.
The striker missed a penalty in the first half and Klopp said that ‘hit him’. The German boss added: ‘It impacts him of course, he is a human being. If it didn’t affect him, that would be strange. But he knows he will have another chance.
‘The penalty he missed, that hit him definitely. I don’t judge Darwin because of the crossbar moments. I judge him for the assist for Lucho (Diaz). It was late in the game and super decisive for us, super important for us.
‘The run he makes, gets in front of the defender. He sees Lucho coming and puts the ball in so Lucho can finish it off. That is outstanding football wise, not being bothered about your own bad luck. Just staying in the game and that is what he did.
‘I am more than happy with him. It’s an interesting story, I get that 100 per cent. Breaking the record for the crossbar is not a record you want to have but if you have it, it just shows you are as close as it gets to scoring. That is exactly Darwin’s situation. He will score.’
Klopp said Liverpool are otherwise in a strong position injury wise, with many long-term absentees now slowly returning. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai are all returning to full fitness, while Thiago Alcantara is back training.
Klopp said he was 'more than happy' with Nunez despite criticism earlier in the campaign
‘That’s not a challenge,’ added Klopp. ‘It’s the one moment for the first time in the season when we have a luxury problem - more players than positions we can start. That is not a challenge, it is one moment and the first moment in the season where we have a luxury problem, more players available than we can start. It is no problem, it is good. This week is the only one with no midweek game and we need all of them.
‘If that is your story this week, congratulations, “who can start a game and who can finish it”. We need them all. Look all in a really good shape. It is a tough opponent (Arsenal). We played them twice recently. Both games were not perfect. We have a lot to improve.’
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