February 9, 2018 / 3:04 PM / 16 days ago

Liverpool's Lallana in contention to face old club Southampton

LONDON (Reuters) - Adam Lallana is in contention for the Liverpool bench against Southampton on Sunday despite his dismissal for the Under-23 team in midweek, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

Lallana has struggled with injury this season and was given a run-out for Liverpool’s junior team against Spurs when he reacted angrily to an aerial clash with 19-year-old George Marsh, grabbing him round the throat.

Klopp has spoken to the England midfielder about the loss of temper that led to his sending-off.

“It’s not nice. I spoke to him, it’s not how it should be. He wasn’t happy about the reaction and I wasn’t either. He’s an option for the squad (on Sunday), maybe not the first XI, ” Klopp said.

“He looks fresh and good but we need to settle a bit and use Adam as there are about 18-19 games to go.”

Lallana is one of six Liverpool players signed from Southampton since 2014, with a seventh ex-Saint, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, recruited via Arsenal, a statistic Klopp admitted gives an extra dimension to the game at St Mary‘s.

“There have been a lot of good players from that area (Southampton). Maybe we should have our scouting department down there,” he said, insisting that all the recruits, including 75 million pound ($104 million) defender Virgil van Dijk, have been fully integrated.

“No ex-Southampton player will play on Sunday! Would we have a team?” Klopp joked.

“It won’t be a friendly game, they fight for everything, we fight for everything. They will want to show their quality but we have our own targets. They are a football playing side.”

Klopp said Joe Gomez has not recovered from the knee injury that kept him out of the 2-2 draw with Tottenham but the defender is in contention for Wednesday’s Champions League clash in Porto.

Klopp also said the future of soon-to-be out of contract midfielder Emre Can has not been decided despite persistent media reports the 24 year-old German will join Juventus in the summer.

“He hasn’t come into my office and said so,” Klopp said. “Still everything is possible. There’s nothing else to say. No decision so far.”

($1 = 0.7234 pounds)

Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond

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