Liverpool leave Shaqiri out due to political reasons

Xherdan Shaqiri was a member of Bayern Munich's treble winning side of 2012/13

Xherdan Shaqiri was a member of Bayern Munich's treble winning side of 2012/13

The Telegraph has reported that there are some concerns surrounding taking Shaqiri to Serbia, especially after his celebration after scoring in the World Cup for Switzerland.

"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".

"The only way I know to cool the atmosphere down is to play really good football". We tried to make sure we can be focused on football.

"The player has accepted it".

Klopp added: "We are Liverpool FC, a big club, a football team, but we don't have any message further than that".

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"We have to be strong tomorrow again football-wise".

"Liverpool are a favourite, no matter what. We need to be concentrated all the time, because every pause and the smallest little thing is immediately punished".

Midfield: Naby Keita is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury that's kept him out of the last five games in all competitions and the Guinea worldwide could be recalled in midfield if Klopp feels he's fully match fit.

Forward El Fardou Ben Nabouhane scored six goals in the qualifying matches, and has 10 Super Liga goals this season.

On the possibility of the Croatia global and fellow defender Joel Matip getting opportunities to displace Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, Klopp said: "Dejan had games and will have games".

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They are up against a team who haven't lost a home game for over a year now, including the match-day one fixture against Napoli.

"It's the first name that popped into my head, and I'll probably be shot down because there'll be others who have done more, but for the price Liverpool paid for him, and how he's slotted in when they've given their regular front three a rest, I think he's done very well", Merson told Sky Sports.

Red Star have conceded just five goals in their last 14 home games in European competition, keeping nine clean sheets in this run.

Shaqiri played a central role in the Reds' dismantling of the Serbian champions in the reverse tie at Anfield last month, which finished 4-0.

It's hard not to feel a bit sorry for Shaqiri in this situation.

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"He's played in 69 games since the start of last season, more than any other player in the Premier League".

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