Liverpool will need to rest players over the next month thanks to a hectic December schedule.
A 1-1 draw with Napoli on Wednesday made things tougher, too. Winning would have meant the final group game against RB Salzburg was a dead rubber. Instead, it’s now a game Liverpool can’t afford to lose.
If they do and Porto win, they’re out of the Champions League. So it’s not a game to be resting the first-team, in short.
But it would have been a much-welcomed break as Liverpool don’t have a week off in December – until after January 2nd. They’ll play up to 11 games until then, depending on the Club World Cup.
So when can they rest players? We’ve picked out the four games that offer Jurgen Klopp the best opportunity.
Brighton (H) – Nov. 30
Liverpool’s next game is one where they pretty much need to rest. It’s sandwiched between a game against Napoli that went to the wire and the Merseyside derby. That’s two games for the first-team.
It’s also at Anfield against a side outside the top six. You’d like to think that Liverpool can win without their first-choice XI and it’s the kind of gamble they’ll need to take.
Watford (H) – Dec. 14
Watford are struggling badly this season and this game comes after the Salzburg clash. It’s certainly the best opportunity to rest in the league and Liverpool’s second string should definitely fancy their chances. It also plays into the next choice(s).
Aston Villa (A) – Dec 17 & CWC Semi (N) – Dec 18
A complicated one, this. Liverpool will play two games in two competitions on two continents within 24 hours. The first, against Villa, will be a youth side, whereas the Club World Cup game will likely be a rotated team with the first-team back for the final (hopefully).
Regardless, these two games, along with the Watford clash, are when Klopp can rotate his stars. This is when they can have their time off in the month, gearing them up for a run of four huge games to end the period.