Jurgen Klopp makes his stance clear on team selection as the countdown to Manchester United v Liverpool begins
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has vowed to pick a full-strength team for next week’s Champions League clash against FC Porto, even though his side have a massive game against Manchester United a few days later.
With Liverpool 5-0 ahead from the first leg of their last-16 tie against the Portuguese giants, Klopp was widely tipped to rest a host of star names ahead of a potentially crucial game at Old Trafford.
Liverpool’s hopes of finishing ahead of United and securing a top four finish could depend on the outcome of the game on March 10th, but Klopp insists he will not shake up his team with too many changes.
Arsenal rested a host of star names for their Europa League game against Ostersunds last week after establishing a healthy first leg lead, but slipped to a defeat at their Emirates Stadium home before suffering a Carabao Cup final loss against Manchester City a few days later and Klopp is using that example as a warning not to tamper too much.
“All the people before the Porto game will tell me: ‘Now you can rest him, him and him’,” said Klopp.
“Arsenal for example, that’s so unfair. They were through in the tie and had a final on Sunday yet I only hear after the game things like, ‘wow that was embarrassing against a Swedish team’. But they are through in the tie and played a final on Sunday.
“That’s the situation. We play Man United, we will not rest anybody. We will play a strong side against Porto and a strong side against United.”
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge is among those calling for Klopp to leave out star names from the Champions League game next week, after arguing the Porto game is already over.
“Liverpool’s game against United is coming up on the horizon and Klopp’s side have already given themselves a huge boost heading into that game after their 5-0 Champions League win against Porto,” stated the ex-Ireland striker in his Sunday World column.
“The second leg of that tie is due to be played a few days before United v Liverpool at Old Trafford and Klopp now has the chance to rest as many players as he wants.
“Meanwhile, Mourinho and United are embroiled in a tight Champions League game against Sevilla after their 0-0 draw in Spain and won’t have the option of saving players back and focusing on the Liverpool game.
“It’s the kind of small advantage that can be so crucial in a top four race and Klopp has to take it.”