Roberto Firmino working on freshness ahead of West Brom clash, reveals Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp has admitted Liverpool must manage the fitness of Roberto Firmino ahead of the trip to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, though the striker is expected to start.

The Brazilian has featured in more games than any other Liverpool player this season with 34 starts and a further two appearances off of the bench.

A pivotal member of Klopp's team, Firmino's fitness has been managed of late - the 25-year-old training away from his team-mates at Melwood at times in the week ahead of this weekend's clash at the Hawthorns.

Firmino was initially left on the bench for last weekend's win at Stoke City, though - like compatriot Philippe Coutinho - came on at half-time to help the Reds come from behind for a huge three points.

"Phil absolutely, but with Roberto I would say we still have to manage," replied Klopp when asked if the Brazilian international duo would be starting in the West Midlands.

The Reds boss added: "I know how it sounds when I tell a player 'play the whole game' and I say he was really 'done' after the Bournemouth game, then it’s 'professional, money and all that'."

Klopp: Firmino freshness must be managed

He declared that it is "clear" that Firmino "always gives everything" but noted that his performance "was different" in the mid-week draw with Bournemouth because he was "not really fresh."

"After the game we had to think about it," Klopp continued. "It's still a bit like this. I'm pretty sure both will be fine for the weekend."

The Liverpool manager is hopeful that his side won't have to keep a close eye on the No.11's fitness until the end of the campaign, Firmino having proved key once again with 10 Premier League goals.

"No, I don't hope so," he said when asked whether Liverpool would have to manage him until the end of the season. "In this week, until now, we did the full programme so far."

Klopp revealed that the club have "worked on his freshness" - with Firmino pictured with the club's head of fitness and conditioning at Melwood - and on "getting back his freshness."

He declared that "is all" that Firmino has been working on with the club, Klopp adding: "Second-half when he came on it was brilliant. Before the game we couldn't imagine it would be like this, but I'm happy it was."

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