MAINZ, GERMANY - Sunday, August 7, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp watches his side warm-up as he returns to former club FSV Mainz 05 for a pre-season friendly match at the Opel Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp has no intention of fielding weakened side for Derby clash

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will not hold back his star names for the EFL Cup and has pledged to name a strong team to face Derby.

Forward Roberto Firmino has recovered from the minor groin complaint which kept him out of Friday’s win at Chelsea and Klopp sees no point in resting players just six matches into a season in which the Reds have no European involvement.

“You can be sure we will find a strong line-up again for this game,” said Klopp.

“It is not about resting 100 per cent fit players, it is a normal rhythm and a rhythm we want to have next year again every three or four days (in European competition).

“We know how to handle it and we know about recovery. Take risks in football, but not with players who are not 100 per cent.

“Roberto is in training. The medical department told me he could have played against Chelsea, but I heard the word ‘risk’ too often so I decided no.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 10, 2016: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the first goal against Leicester City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I was very happy that it worked out. They told me if I gave him three days then everything would be perfect, so today is the fourth day so he is in.”

That is not the case for central defender Mamadou Sakho, who is working his way back to fitness after an Achilles injury and still trying to win his manager’s approval again after being sent home from the tour of the United States because of concerns about his attitude.

Klopp underlined that it will only be him who makes the decision on when – or if – the France international returns.

“He is closer, but there is a big difference between match fitness and everything,” he added. “It is not about how the player feels, it is about how close I feel he is.”

Klopp is confident the iPro Stadium will not produce anything unexpected as he is an avid watcher of Championship football, although the German admits he has a vested interest.

His best friend and former Borussia Dortmund colleague David Wagner has guided Huddersfield to the top of the table and, although the pair do not talk too much about specifics, Klopp already knows plenty about second-tier football, having beaten Burton in the previous round.


“I watch a lot of Championship because I am interested in how Huddersfield are doing, so I need to know which are the other teams,” he said.

“To be honest we don’t speak too much about the Championship in general, but I celebrate him when I call him because it’s a wonderful story and I love it.

“I have worked a long time of my life in the second division and the biggest difference to the first division is very often consistency.

“It is a specific type of football, it is more physical but not less technical.

“I like watching the Championship because you can see teams really fight for their aims.

“I know Derby (in 20th) are not close in this moment, but they are an ambitious club.

“If I was the manager of Derby I’d try to use this competition for the turnaround.

“There is no pressure on them. This game is a big opportunity.”

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