6 Liverpool players set for Anfield send-off on Saturday
Liverpool will bid farewell to a number of high-profile players this weekend as the Reds welcome Aston Villa for the final Anfield outing of the campaign.
Roberto Firmino received a heart-warming tribute from the travelling Kop during the Reds’ 3-0 victory away at Leicester on Monday night, but he is not the only player set to appear at Anfield for the final time on Saturday.
James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Adrian are all expected to leave the club on a free transfer this summer upon their contract expiries, with Arthur‘s loan spell also due to end having made just one senior appearance.
Speaking after the win at Leicester, Jurgen Klopp declared that he hopes Liverpool fans can show their appreciation for all of the departing squad members on Saturday afternoon.
“[It will] probably be a farewell around the game for a few players,” admitted the boss.
“Around that, we want to show, really, the respect, appreciation and the love we feel for not only Bobby – Bobby as well – but for all the boys who will leave in the summer.
“It will be a special day with a difficult game. In between or around or whatever, we have to make sure that we can do both.”
It will be an emotional afternoon on what will be the final home matchday of the season, but the Reds have a job to do on the pitch in order to keep pressure on those above.
Liverpool sit in fifth with a point fewer than Newcastle and Man United having played a game more, with wins still required in order to capitalise on any potential slip-ups from those in the Champions League places.
Klopp has never failed to secure a top-four finish in a full season at the club, having ended his first campaign in eighth spot after joining in October.
It remains to be seen how the club themselves will honour the departing players, but in the past the likes of Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum have been presented with gifts on the pitch and given guards of honour by their colleagues.
Whether all six players will receive the same treatment is currently unclear, but Firmino and Milner in particular are likely to get a warm reception for one last time from the home supporters.
The manager will be hoping there is room for both sentiment and three points when Unai Emery’s side come to visit this weekend.