Liverpool will be without midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri for Tuesday night’s Champions League group stage match against Red Star Belgrade. The Swiss international starred for the Reds against Red Star at Anfield, but will miss out on the match. Liverpool sit atop Group C and need to collect all three points in their Champions League clash to stay there.
Liverpool without Xherdan Shaqiri for Champions League clash
Shaqiri has not been left out of the squad due to injury as many might believe. Rather, the Swiss international who was born in Kosovo was left out of Liverpool’s squad due to possible issues with fans at the game in Serbia.
The Reds want to avoid any distractions that could come from visiting Belgrade with Shaqiri in the team.
“It’s a situation where we will go to the fantastic city of Belgrade as a football team to play football,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception Shaq would receive and although we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and be focused 100 per cent on football and not have to think about anything else, that’s all.
“We are Liverpool FC, a big club, a football team but we don’t have any message further than that. We have no political message, absolutely not. We want the focus to be on a great game of football, free from anything else.
“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.
“So for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday.
“I have heard so many wonderful things about the city of Belgrade, and the country of Serbia as a whole, from friends and colleagues who’ve visited before, so now I’m really looking forward to taking Liverpool there for a great game of Champions League football.”
Shaqiri raised eyebrows during the World Cup by wearing boots adorned with the Kosovo flag. It is believed there could be issues if he does feature in such an important Champions League Clash on Tuesday.
Was Liverpool right to leave Shaqiri out of the team?