This weekend Liverpool face Leicester City with a majority of the back four missing. The Reds also have key players missing throughout the starting XI. Jürgen Klopp is known to favour a smaller squad, this philosophy will be put to the ultimate test this weekend.
Liverpool injury list
Jürgen Klopp has seen his squad ravaged by injuries this season.
The Reds have lost well over a dozen players to illness and niggles as the games pile up in the middle of a pandemic.
The boss is without his first choice centre back pairing for the rest of the season.
If we’re lucky then Joe Gomez will play again at the end of the campaign.
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Whilst Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss this weekend’s tie after picking up a calf injury against Man City.
Jürgen Klopp small squad philosophy
The boss has always preferred a small squad.
Jürgen Klopp doesn’t like having an abundance of fringe players.
The reasoning is simple: a smaller squad means more chances for youngsters as well as more motivation for the substitutes.
Players work harder when there’s competition for places and they may actually be called into action.
Whereas, if you have a big squad, fringe players aren’t inclined to work as hard as they see a shot in the starting lineup as a distant hope.
Leicester City test and Everton hope
This weekend could be the sternest test of Jürgen Klopp’s small squad philosophy.
The gaffer is going to have to chop and change, introducing an academy player or two to the starting lineup as we welcome the league leaders to Anfield.
Neco Williams is tipped to start at right back whilst, if Fabinho isn’t fit, Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips or Billy Koumetio could get the nod at centre back.
Given the question marks over Jordan Henderson’s fitness we could see Curtis Jones in the midfield and Mo Salah’s absence could open up a spot for Taki Minamino.
We can look to a fixture from last season for hope. Last December the Reds battered Everton 5-2 with a heavily rotated lineup.
Divock Origi bagged a superlative brace, wanting to take his chance when it came.
We could see a repeat of that mentality this weekend as backup stars fight to keep their place in the side, wanting to show that they deserve to start even when the rest are fit.