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Joe Gomez set to start as Jurgen Klopp plans changes vs. Plymouth

Joe Gomez will make his first appearance since October 2015 when Liverpool host Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, the Liverpool manager was asked whether he would rotate his side, replying: “Yes, I would think so, but it’s not because of the last game it’s because of the next game in this case.

“I’m pretty sure we will see a few fresh legs on the pitch.

“Pretty much all of them who are not involved are pretty young, so when we want to rotate we have to use them.”

When asked specifically about Gomez, Klopp said the 19-year-old was in a good way and a start for the Reds’ was the next logical step in his recovery from ACL injury.

“[He’s] is in good shape, and maybe it would not be the biggest surprise he would be in the lineup.

“It is the next step and he has a long way to go. He already had a long way and it could still be but everything is good. We don’t really have the idea to give him on loan to another club.

“He’s a wonderful boy and we are really happy for him. He is fit now. He had a few games with the second team and he’s very self critical as he was not always at his best. But that’s normal after a long period of injury. [Playing in the first team] is a logical next step.”

Gomez played at left-back under Brendan Rodgers at the start of last season but is naturally a centre-back and that’s where he’s been playing for the Reds’ under-23s in recent weeks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, October 17, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and goalkeeper Loris Karius after the goal-less draw with Manchester United during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)


The German also said that there is a “big chance” we could see Loris Karius return.

Many were surprised that Klopp failed to rotate his side versus Sunderland. Only one change was made for that particular game with Daniel Sturridge replacing the injured Jordan Henderson.

“It was my first experience of a game like this, I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t think you can expect the best performance of the season in a game like this.

“It felt like a defeat, I couldn’t change.

“I was really happy Pep had his press conference and no one spoke about my press conference.”

The tiredness is setting in, especially among the likes of Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana who work tirelessly from the from in every game.

With a League Cup semi-final first leg against Southampton coming just three days after the Plymouth game, Klopp’s squad rotation will be tested again.

Several youngsters have made the bench in recent weeks, and the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria, and Ben Woodburn could be in line for an appearance.

Kevin Stewart will also hope to make an appearance in the place of Jordan Henderson who is out with a heel injury.

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