Unai Emery has hinted that Nicolas Pepe is in line for a start at Anfield as he says the record signing is improving physically since signing for the club.
He has made two substitute appearances, coming on at half-time during last weekend’s 2-1 win over Burnley.
Asked about the Ivorian at his press conference today, there was a suggestion that he is ready for ‘more minutes’, with the Spaniard saying, ” The most important thing is, like a person, to help him and his family to feel comfortable here.
“Now he is three weeks into working here with us. He didn’t do the pre-season here but he’s progressively feeling better. For example, in the first match, he played 15 minutes in Newcastle, then he played 45 minutes against Burnley.
“I think his individual performances are progressively getting better. For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes.
“I am going to decide tomorrow, but really his progress has been positive and has been good for the team and for him.
“The most important piece of the adaptation is to help him to feel easy and be comfortable with us.”
The question is does he mean ‘more minutes’ overall, or more minutes than last week? If it’s the latter, then he could well be in line for a start.
We suspect he might just hold him back in reserve though, as a fantastic weapon to throw on if we need him to change the trajectory of the game.