Jürgen Klopp has offered in-depth analyses of the situations of Naby Keita and Adam Lallana as Liverpool prepare to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup.

Keita has not featured for the Reds since their 2-0 Premier League victory at Wolves last month, while Lallana has not started a game since early November.

However, Klopp has made it clear that both midfielders remain very much in his selection thoughts, with the boss also discussing his options at centre-back for Monday’s trip to Molineux during a pre-match media briefing at Melwood.

Read on for a full transcript…

On whether there is a reason Keita has remained on the bench for Liverpool’s last three games…

No, that’s how it sometimes is. With Naby, and I spoke to him, everything is fine and I am completely happy. Could he be a bit more confident in the games? Yes. Is he exactly the player [he was] in his best time at Leipzig? No, but he’s still adapting, that’s how it is. But everybody saw it how brilliant he played in the first part [of the season]. Tottenham was a fantastic game of him without thinking too much, and then we made a change I think around the PSG game and the boys have to deal with it. Then a little injury here, a little injury there and it was kind of a little setback.

But he is a fantastic player and I’m really happy to have him here. It’s so good and I am really looking forward to our common future because see if you see it every day, wow, there is so much to come and so much influence he can have on each game, so that’s all good. No, there was no reason [for him not playing recently], just because other boys were in good shape as well. It was a bit about positioning, a bit about system and all that stuff. That’s how football decisions are. There is really, really no doubt about the boy, he is an outstanding player.

On whether Monday’s game is a good opportunity for the No.8 to return to the starting line-up…

I can tell you it is a good opportunity for all the players. We can talk about all the players then Wolves know my complete line-up! I said already two [Simon Mignolet and Alberto Moreno], so you can make of it what you want. It’s pretty clear if we make changes who will come in. 

On Lallana…

Adam is actually in outstanding shape – I said it a few times maybe, but it’s unbelievable in training. So we have to say it was close in the last game: ‘Do we start him or not?’ and stuff like this. It’s really, really good and it’s like always in life, if you learn from your experiences… you cannot learn too much from being injured and stuff like that, but how is your mood? Adam is a player who always wants to play. He would play four games a day if possible just from his desire to play football. He is really, I would say in the moment, in the best moment since I know him, just like as a person he is fantastic. He will have a big part of our season I am really sure and that’s cool. But in training everything is good, when he came on everything was good so far, so now he is ready to take these little steps.

That was probably in the past not exactly the same, just not because he always accepts my decisions but it’s what you make of it. If you are in or out or whatever, do you want to change something and do more? My players, if I am in doubt about somebody then I speak immediately, if something is wrong I speak immediately. But for players when I am not in doubt they don’t know it and think they have to do something differently, that was in the past when we didn’t know each other good enough maybe a bit more difficult. But now, everything is fine. It’s good to have him, he’s an important part of the squad.

On his central defensive options for the game, with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip out injured…

To be creative. Or we play the two [Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk] again, we will see. If not, then we have to be creative. We will see what we do, but we cannot, we will not sign a centre-half for one game or whatever, that will not happen. Joe and Joel look good – obviously not good enough for Monday, not good enough I would say for the game after that, for Brighton, [but] hopefully then they are at least in full team training. I think for Joel it would be possible, for Joe at least there’s a little hope that it can be the same, so we will see. Joe had a good day, a very good day [on Friday], so that’s good.

The latest team news from both camps ahead of Wolves v Liverpool>>

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