Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he will not be resting players in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie against Porto at Anfield.
In the first leg on Valentines Day, Liverpool thrashed the Portuguese side 5-0 and the Reds are now all but through to the last eight of the tournament. Given the massive advantage going into the second leg, it would seem like the perfect opportunity to rest key players.
Yet, if comments from Jurgen Klopp are anything to go by, Liverpool won’t be changing much around.
The likes of Adam Lallana, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne are all in need of game time after returning from respective injuries but it looks unlikely that they will be given their chances in the Champions League.
Klopp said: “Another week now for Newcastle, then Porto and United in one week. All the people before the Porto game will tell me, ‘Now you can rest him, him and him’.
“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.”
The Gunners played an understrength side against Swedish outfit Ostersund and lost 2-1 on the night. The North Londoners made it through to the Ro16 in the Europa League despite the defeat, beating Ostersund 4-2 on aggregate over two legs.
Klopp finished off saying: “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.”
It’s a controversial decision as it could backfire in a big way if one of Liverpool’s front three gets injured – or any starting player for that matter.
With Manchester United visiting Anfield on the Saturday following the midweek Champions League game, the Reds will need to be at their best to ensure they can leapfrog their rivals into second place.