Charlie Nicholas accuses Jurgen Klopp of trying to annoy this Liverpool star

Charlie Nicholas questions Jurgen Klopp's recent handling of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge

Charlie Nicholas has criticised Jurgen Klopp’s recent handling of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final at Anfield.

The Reds striker was an unused substitute as the Merseyside outfit suffered a 1-0 defeat by Villarreal in the first leg of their last-four clash last week after Adrian Lopez scored an added-time winner at Estadio El Madrigal.

Klopp restored Sturridge to his starting line-up for Sunday’s trip to Swansea City as Liverpool’s youngest-ever Premier League side lost 3-1 to the Welsh outfit at Liberty Stadium.

Former Arsenal playmaker Nicholas accused Klopp of aggravating his star centre-forward ahead of the visit of Villarreal at Anfield.

“The situation with Daniel Sturridge is an odd one, not picking him in the big game then throwing him in with the kids on Sunday. It’s like he’s purposely trying to annoy him,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

Sturridge has scored eight times in 13 Premier League games for the 18-time English champions since his return from a niggling knee injury.

Klopp, 48, replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager last October.

His Dortmund outfit won the Bundesliga in 2010/11, scooped a double the next campaign and lost to Bayern Munich in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final.

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