Jurgen Klopp explains plan for Liverpool’s Club World Cup and League Cup clash

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Jurgen Klopp has described the League Cup as a “really nice opportunity” for Liverpool’s youngsters, after naming a full squad for the Club World Cup.

The manager told reporters on Friday that there was “not a second” when he considered dividing his senior players between the two competitions.

Liverpool play Aston Villa in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, less than 24 hours before their semi-final in the Club World Cup, and the club confirmed a 23-man squad for the latter on Thursday.

It included every fit and available first-team player, along with youngsters Neco Williams, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Rhian Brewster—though they are expected to play at Villa before flying out to Qatar.

Addressing the situation in his pre-Bournemouth press conference, Klopp did not comment on whether that would be the case for the teenage quartet, but focused on a platform for the Reds’ young talents to showcase their wares.

“We had to do it like this. I think it’s a really nice opportunity for the younger players to face it,” he said.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 30, 2019: Liverpool's Neco Williams celebrates after setting-up the fifth goal in injury time to seal a 505 draw and send the game to a penalty shoot out during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 5-5 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I know everybody says there’s no chance, but football is a wonderful game and if you grow above yourself, making the next step, enjoying the challenge…

“I would love to be part of that game, to be honest, and I hope all the boys and Critch and the coaching staff enjoy it as well.

“Whatever happens, I’m responsible even for that game, not being there.

“So they have no pressure, they should just fight for each inch on the pitch and enjoy themselves.

“They are playing in a wonderful stadium, one of the best in England for sure, great atmosphere, stuff like that.

“Go there and make your second, third or fourth steps in the professional world of football.

“That’s really nice, and for us there was absolutely no chance to do it differently.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 30, 2019: Liverpool's Adam Lallana, Rhian Brewster and Sepp Van Den Berg celebrate after the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 5-5 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“In the moment when it was clear it would be played, and all the other dates were absolutely not possible for us, to play after or whatever, there was not one date that would have worked [for the first team] at all.

“Because Aston Villa [had to find time] as well, difficult, then there’s possible rematches in the FA Cup and stuff like this. So it would have been mad as well.

“The situation is like it is, and in the end we will not suffer because of that. That’s not possible.

“We won the game against Arsenal, a very exciting game, I loved it, and in that moment it was clear now we have to find a solution.

“And the solution would not be perfect, but we tried to make it as perfect as possible.

“So we go with this specific squad to Qatar, try our best there, then the other ones will play here.

“And if somebody thought I should have done it differently, I cannot change that.”

The Liverpool Mishmash is here!

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is now available to pre-order exclusively on This Is Anfield.
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