Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Xherdan Shaqiri left out of Liverpool's Belgrade trip due to possible 'distractions'

Xherdan Shaqiri left out of Liverpool's Belgrade trip due to possible 'distractions'

"We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions that would take focus away from a 90-minute-plus contest that is important for football and only football".

"We come here wanting to play football".

When pushed on whether the striker is in need of a rest in Belgrade on Tuesday, Klopp said: "Not really but, of course, it is something we think about 100%".

Xherdan Shaqiri will miss the clash as Klopp anticipates he is likely to receive a bad reception due to political reasons. I was confronted with that and that is the decision.

For all the defensive plaudits that this Liverpool side is winning at the moment, just as many questions are being asked about why the Reds' front three still seem to be stuck in first gear. "That's what we want to do and that is why I made that decision".

Speaking ahead of the game, Klopp said he wanted to keep the focus on football for the tricky away tie. We are here to play football and focus on that.

"It was a hard situation if you want, usually you don't think about things like that before a game but we had to think about it".

"Sevilla was of course where we didn't deal too well with it but in the end we played out a 3-3 which was not too bad".

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A hostile atmosphere is guaranteed - although not half as hostile as if Shaqiri had travelled - but Klopp is confident his players can cope. Shaqiri is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday.

Liverpool have left Swiss global Xherdan Shaqiri out of the squad for Tuesday's Champions League tie at Red Star Belgrade.

"They will shout like they usually shout in two games".

"It would help massively, of course".

"Paris is not an easy place to go to and then we are at home to Napoli but tomorrow is not our only chance".

Red Star have suffered just one defeat in their last 14 home games in European competition (W7 D6), with their previous home game in the current Champions League campaign finishing 0-0 (v Napoli).

"Fabinho came and had to wait his turn and he looks unbelievable and what you get when you're a team like Liverpool now is people say, 'I know this manager will play me at some stage and if I do play he will probably keep me in the team'". That could be possible, at least. "It would be really cool if you got it all".

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