I do not see any problems in midfield, insists Klopp

As Liverpool prepares to face Everton without Jordan Henderson, Jurgen Klopp faced questions over his midfield options.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists that his focus is on those who are available rather than the one player missing out.   -  Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is adamant Liverpool can cope without the suspended Jordan Henderson in the Merseyside derby after issuing a strong defence of his midfield players on Friday.

Captain Henderson will sit out Sunday's clash with Everton at Anfield after his dismissal in the closing stages of the win at Watford last time out in the Premier League.

With the England international missing, Klopp could turn to one of Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri - three players who are yet to experience a derby since arriving at the club - to fill the void.

The German is confident any of the trio can cope in what is always an emotional fixture, insisting his focus is on those who are available rather than the one player missing out.

"I don't like to talk too much about players we don't have available," Klopp told the media.

"We knew it after the Watford game with Hendo, that's how it is. We will not miss him because it was clear he was not in. As long as all the others are fit, we have solutions for that, which is good."

READ | Liverpool vs Everton: Shaqiri proving a cut-price Coutinho at Anfield

Asked again about Henderson's absence during the media conference, a clearly frustrated Klopp replied: "He is not available - what should I do? Ask the FA [the Football Association]?"

"They [the other midfielders] are ready - I really don't get a lot of your questions today. Why should I think about that. Are they ready? We will see. We have to prove it. 

"If I said now we have real problems and we don't have enough time to get them ready for a derby, what kind of idiot would I be? I think they are ready, but we have to prove it on Sunday."

The former Borussia Dortmund boss was also not impressed when it was put to him Liverpool's midfield had struggled to control games at times this season, despite being unbeaten in the league.

"We've conceded five goals and our midfield is overrun? Sorry, I didn't see that. We could have scored more goals creatively, but I do not see any problems in midfield," Klopp responded.

Klopp did admit Liverpool needs to improve in one area - how it starts games. It was slow out of the blocks in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat away to Paris Saint-Germain, a result that leaves it outside the qualification spots in Group C with just one game - at home to leader Napoli - remaining.

"In Paris, I was not happy with the start. It was clear that it will be intense from the PSG side. You saw the line-up, the situation and it was clear, really on a plate," he said.

"We needed longer [to get going] and I didn't like that. We have to set the intensity in a game, especially in the last one it would have helped, but in general we need to set it."

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