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'Klopp likes to moan after international breaks' - Wagner expects to face full-strength Liverpool

1:27 PM EDT 10/18/18
David Wagner Jurgen Klopp Huddersfield Liverpool
The Huddersfield manager believes his old friend is overplaying the Reds injury woes ahead of their clash Saturday

Huddersfield manager David Wagner does not think Liverpool’s injury crisis is as severe as Jurgen Klopp has let on, saying he expects to face a nearly full-strength squad Saturday.

Liverpool have been hit with some bad news to their side during the international break as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk have all returned with fitness concerns.

James Milner, meanwhile, is also a worry after departing Liverpool’s last fixture before the break, their scoreless draw with Manchester City, with a hamstring injury.

But Wagner has his doubts Liverpool will be drastically shorthanded when the sides meet this weekend, citing his long history working with Klopp and their friendship as evidence the Reds boss tends to overstate his problems following international play.

“I have known Jurgen long enough, I know he loves to use smoke screens,” Wagner told media.

“I expect that most of his players will be available.

“I have known him long enough and he likes to moan after the international break!”

Wagner may well be right on at least a couple of those big names, as Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman confirmed Van Dijk’s departure from the Netherlands camp was a pre-arranged agreement with Liverpool and he expected the defender to play against Huddersfield.

Egypt has previously downplayed Salah’s injury, and reports indicate the attacker should be fit in time to feature against Huddersfield.

Bigger questions do remain over Mane and Keita, however. Mane had surgery on a broken thumb sustained with Senegal, though he could play with a cast on his hand.

Keita has had additional scans on the hamstring injury he picked up on duty with Guinea and is a doubt for the weekend.

Likewise, Milner is also an unknown for the clash.

Klopp played coy on the injuries when talking to Liverpool's official site on Thursday, though he did say a strong side would be played no matter who was available.

“One-and-a-half weeks ago everybody was quite happy or satisfied with the situation; one-and-a-half weeks later, we miss a few players," Klopp said. "That’s the situation, we cannot change it.”

“At the end, there will be a really strong side wearing a Liverpool shirt going to Huddersfield and then we will see what we can get there.”

Liverpool are aiming to continue their undefeated start to the league season against the Terriers, who sit 18th in the table on just three points.

A busy week follows for the Reds, as they face Red Star Belgrade in Champions League action midweek, before hosting bottom-of-the-table Cardiff City the next weekend.