Klopp hopes Shaqiri omission will defuse local tension

Reports: Klopp Considering Dropping Shaqiri From Belgrade Visit

Xherdan Shaqiri left out of Liverpool squad travelling to Serbia to "avoid any distractions"

Liverpool have left Swiss global Xherdan Shaqiri out of the squad for Tuesday's Champions League tie at Red Star Belgrade.

"It could have been a story but we didn't want to have a story besides a football story".

Shaqiri, an ethnic Albanian of Kosovar heritage, scored the winning goal for Switzerland when they beat Serbia 2-1 at the World Cup in June and celebrated with a gesture which appeared to imitate the eagle displayed on Albania's flag.

Speaking ahead of the game, Klopp said he wanted to keep the focus on football for the tricky away tie.

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"We are Liverpool, a big club, a football team but we don't have any message further than that". That's why we're here, to play football.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "We will take pretty much everyone".

There is a lot at stake for Red Star Belgrade heading into Tuesday night's game, as they will be eliminated from Europe's elite club competition if they lose to Liverpool FC and Napoli win at home against Paris Saint-Germain. We are in Serbia, we respect that 100%.

"We need to cool the situation down".

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Dejan Lovren (muscle) and Naby Keita (hamstring) return to the squad but fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson has remained on Merseyside for extra training sessions as he finalises his recovery from a hamstring problem.

Liverpool lead Group C with six points from three matches while Red Star are last with one. The front three still aren't firing on all cylinders but they're still a handful, especially Mane.

Liverpool supporters will hope that the Reds can duplicate the form from their matchup against the Serbian club two weeks ago in the Champions League as Mohamed Salah led the Reds with a brace in a convincing 4-0 win at Anfield.

After making the £52million switch to Liverpool, his transition into life as a Reds wasn't as smooth as some might have expected but there is no denying that he still has all the tools required to become a fantastic player under Klopp.

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