The Reds will finally confirm status as a Champions League quarter-finalists on Tuesday night, providing a PSG-style collapse is avoided at Anfield.
Liverpool’s task is not just to finish the job but rather do so as stress-free as possible to allow for ideal preparation ahead of Saturday’s battle for second place at Old Trafford.
The near-unassailable lead the Reds boast gives Klopp every chance to rest certain key men ahead of the grudge match.
And the boss rightly seems set to take the opportunity with plenty of quality at his disposal to introduce.
- Klopp set to make changes despite playing down need for rotation
- Plenty of options and quality available to introduce
- Subs in Newcastle win Joel Matip, James Milner & Adam Lallana pushing for starts
- Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Dominic Solanke all hoping to feature
- Gini Wijnaldum and Ben Woodburn back from illness but unlikely to be used
Liverpool’s XI vs. Porto
No matter how much Klopp insists the job is not yet done, deploying a full-strength team on Tuesday is needless.
And despite understandably having consistently played down suggestions of rotating, panicking supporters somewhat, the boss will know that more than anyone.
Klopp has often disguised rotation under the need to utilise his squad and freshest players.
And given he stated in his pre-match press conference that “it’s about bringing in fit players” a similar scenario could play out again at Anfield.
In fact with Klopp having also said “we may make one, two or three changes,” the question becomes one of how many switches rather than if any arrive.
Klopp has the options to consider light and heavy rotation depending on how many key men he wants preserved for Saturday, and most Kopites will hope for the latter with a quarter-final place all but officially confirmed.
Such a selection could see a completely new back four deployed, with Gomez, Matip, Klavan and Moreno protecting in-form Loris Karius.
Giving plenty of fringe players a chance to impress to keep the squad competitive, a Reds team with seven changes could look like this:
Klopp may opt for fewer changes to avoid any complications on what should be a simple night and to maintain the winning momentum established from four straight wins.
Milner would still enter midfield but the vice-captain could replace Henderson, with Klopp having often tried to guard against the skipper’s fitness issues.
And one change instead of two could come in attack, where Lallana could join Mane and Firmino in order to keep Salah’s legs as fresh as possible for United’s back line.
The Reds have all but sealed their last-eight spot but a professional display is needed to secure that place and, most importantly, set us up perfectly for Saturday’s crucial showdown.