Liverpool have been dealt a massive blow ahead of their clash with rivals Manchester United after Erik ten Hag admitted striker Anthony Martial is still struggling with illness.
Martial became unwell on the eve of United’s final Champions League group game with Bayern Munich which prevented the former Monaco starlet from trudging about the Old Trafford pitch in a disinterested fashion.
The news is a bitter pill to swallow for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who viewed the inept Frenchman as an integral part of his plans for Sunday’s demolition of United.
Klopp’s game plan heavily centered around Martial’s lack of movement, goal threat and any real desire to play football.
But with the 28-year-old likely to be sidelined with illness, Klopp will have come up with a different strategy for inflicting their annual trouncing on United at Anfield.
Klopp told Paddy Power News:
‘Everyone at Liverpool FC is wishing Tony Martial a speedy recovery.’
‘I sent him some chicken soup and a get well soon card this morning. We’re all praying he’s fit for Sunday’.
The former Dortmund boss described the mood in the Liverpool camp upon hearing the news that Martial might not play.
‘All the lads in that dressing room are devastated. When Virgil heard the news, he broke down in tears and couldn’t be consoled’.
‘He thought he could take the afternoon off and just enjoy the 9-0 rout along with the rest of the spectators but if Tony doesn’t play, he might be called into action a couple of times.
There was some good news for Liverpool though as United winger Antony declared himself fit and ready for action.
‘Every cloud has a silver lining’, grinned the German.
‘Our full backs are fully prepared for Antony’s ‘Cruyff Turn’, followed by his ‘CR7 chop’, before bending the ball through a windscreen in the Anfield car park.
*Paddy Power’s football coverage is pure fantasy – don’t believe it for a second
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