Jurgen Klopp explains 'bone' issue stopped Darwin Nuñez from starting against Tottenham

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that a 'painful' knee issue picked up during the international break has kept Darwin Nuñez out of the starting lineup against Tottenham on Saturday.

Nuñez was named on the bench for the crunch clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Cody Gakpo instead starting in the centre forward position between Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.

The Uruguayan's omission came as something of a surprise given his fine early-season form, but Klopp explained that Liverpool's number nine 'ruled himself out' of contention to start with knee discomfort.

“Darwin pretty much ruled himself out a little bit. He brought something with him from the international break a little bit of a bone thing around the knee sometimes,” Klopp told Sky Sports prior to kick off.

“It’s not massive but sometimes more painful than other times. So, yesterday at training, he said it’s not possible, so we took him here overnight.

“The doctor said that it will improve again and it has improved so he’s ready to come from the bench but he’s not ready to start and that’s the reason.

“Cody is obviously a top option and we could have brought in Diogo [Jota] as well.”

Meanwhile, vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold returned to the matchday squad for the first time since the international break, but only on the bench, with the right back completing his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Joel Matip was preferred to Ibrahima Konate at centre back, with the French centre-back's minutes apparently still being managed.

Victory for Liverpool in London will take Klopp's side to the top of the Premier League, with Manchester City suffering defeat to Wolves earlier in the day.

Liverpool starting lineup vs. Tottenham: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz.

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