Jurgen Klopp made his stance clear against Manchester City but the result could change his plans. It would be a very different final six games to the Premier League season.
Klopp’s selection on Thursday was noticeable in that it was exactly the same XI that faced Crystal Palace. That’s a brave choice right now as players aren’t fully fit and games come thick and fast.
And yet, Klopp went with his strongest XI. He backed this group of players in a vital game to win the title and he also went with them at the Etihad.
But why? Liverpool didn’t need to win or even avoid a 4-0 defeat against City. They’re champions. Now is as good a time to rest players as you’ll ever get.
The only reason we can think of is that Klopp and Liverpool want to win every remaining game. There’s a points record at stake, after all – City’s points record. They need 15 points to get it. Five wins, in other words.
Liverpool appear to want it, given the strength of their XI on Thursday. And that’s a real choice from Klopp because there is another way to take advantage of the remaining games.
He’s got the option to blood youngsters and try new things, seeing as nothing rides on the remaining fixtures. He likely won’t get another chance like this either, with the added ‘bonus’ of empty grounds reducing pressure even further.
Klopp passed that up, though, in favour of the record and winning games.
And the question now is whether he decides to go all-out from here on in. Liverpool now need five wins from six to break the record – a tall order in chaotic times.
We’ll see his plans against Aston Villa and whether Klopp puts out a team as strong as that against City. After how Thursday went, though, we won’t be surprised to see him reverse his decision and put out the kids.