Shaqiri omitted from Liverpool squad ahead of UCL clash in Belgrade

Xherdan Shaqiri- Jurgen Klopp keen to avoid off-field drama in Belgrade and may leave Xherdan Shaqiri behind in Liverpool

Xherdan Shaqiri- Jurgen Klopp keen to avoid off-field drama in Belgrade and may leave Xherdan Shaqiri behind in Liverpool

At the World Cup in Russian Federation, both Shaqiri and Switzerland team-mate Granit Xhaka celebrated goals against Serbia by using their hands to make a nationalist eagle symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.

However, the German manager insists that the Guinea global took part in his first 100 per cent training session on Sunday and will now be assessed to see whether he can make it onto the pitch in Serbia on Tuesday after travelling with the squad for the Champions League game.

The Liverpool winger is proud of his Kosovan and Albanian roots and has not been afraid to show it, leading to an awkward situation for his club once they were drawn against Red Star of Serbia in Group C of the Champions League. That's the world, how it is. That's the world. Politics has always influenced life - on the planet I live at least. "I'm sure we'll do that".

"We've seen videos of the fans and it's a special stadium but we've got the experience of playing in these stadiums before and we've just got to focus on the game in hand".

But if it's really about what happens on the field, then surely Klopp must be tempted to pick Shaqiri for the squad.

Klopp was clearly aware of the sensitivity of the issue, fielding a number of questions on the issue and, at one point, stressing to the translator to relay his words in their entirety rather than provide a condensed version as he was keen to get his message across without misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

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Victory would put them in a strong position to qualify to the next stage, while another draw between Napoli and PSG would also do them a huge favour in their hopes of finishing first in the group.

A hostile atmosphere is guaranteed - although not half as hostile as if Shaqiri had travelled - but Klopp is confident his players can cope. "It's all good, we'll try again".

"Liverpool still look like the second best team in England, but the gap between the top side and the rest is still big, even if the chasing pack have got a little closer this season".

"I never played here [in Belgrade] but what I heard about it here since I was growing up is that it is a very tough place, historically a tough place to go".

'Rome was a special atmosphere (last season) and we dealt with that pretty well. "That's what we have to be tomorrow".

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