Liverpool travel to face Napoli on Tuesday and it may hand Jurgen Klopp his best chance for rotation.
It’s not the most obvious game to rotate in – Liverpool face their biggest rivals in the group. It’s also a place where Liverpool suffered defeat last season and a full-strength team makes sense.
But then, Liverpool don’t need to win this game. Yes, Napoli are the strongest opposition in the group but Liverpool should be able to drop points here and still qualify.
That’s largely because the other two teams in the group – RB Salzburg and Genk – aren’t of elite quality. Liverpool and Napoli will both expect to win all four of those games.
This isn’t a situation like last season where Paris Saint-Germain were also in the group. There, in theory, Liverpool had to go all-out to qualify.
But the real reason that Klopp should consider rotation against Napoli is the weekend – Liverpool face Chelsea in London. That’s a crunch game, one of the biggest of the season, and Liverpool will want a win.
In fact, they’ll want a win there far more than a win in Napoli. It’s against a rival, it’s in the competition they value the most, and there’s less room for dropped points in the title race. A win in Naples will count for little if they drop points at Stamford Bridge.
Four years of Klopp tells us that he’ll probably go close to full-strength in both games. He’s not, after all, a manager who likes to rotate.
Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson both started on the bench at the weekend, presumably because they are set to start in Naples.
But if Klopp does feel a need to rotate some players this month, this may well be the game to do it. It would guarantee a strong, fit lineup for a huge league game.
It’s safe to say Liverpool fans would agree as the club pursues the Premier League title.