Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Liverpool’s trip to Red Star

Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Liverpool’s trip to Red Star

Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Liverpool’s trip to Red Star

Liverpool have decided to exclude Xherdan Shaqiri from their 21-man travelling squad that will face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

The decision has been made with Shaqiri’s safety in mind, with the 27-year-old a potential target of the Serbian fans. Shaqiri and international teammate Granit Xhaka sparked controversy when they celebrated their goals against Serbia in the World Cup by making the Albanian nationalist eagle symbol.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “It’s a situation where we will go to the fantastic city of Belgrade as a football team to play football.

“We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception Shaq would receive and although we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and be focused 100 per cent on football and not have to think about anything else, that’s all.

“We are Liverpool FC, a big club, a football team but we don’t have any message further than that. We have no political message, absolutely not. We want the focus to be on a great game of football, free from anything else.

“So for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday.”

However, they have had more positive news regarding Dejan Lovren and Naby Keita, who will both make the trip, although captain Jordan Henderson misses out through injury once again.