LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp explains Trent Alexander-Arnold absence vs. Crystal Palace

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace due to illness, insisting the right-back does not have COVID-19.

Klopp made six changes for Liverpool’s fifth Premier League game of the season, with Alexander-Arnold one of the surprise omissions.

Ibrahima Konate makes his debut, while Virgil van Dijk, James Milner, Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago and Sadio Mane all come in, with Milner taking Alexander-Arnold’s place in the side.

Speaking ahead of kickoff at Anfield, the manager explained that the absence of his No. 66 was not part of the planned rotation, instead one forced by illness.

“Trent woke up this morning, felt unwell, we just had to send him home,” he told the Premier League‘s matchday coverage.

“It’s all fine, it’s not Covid. We tested everything, but he didn’t feel well anyway.”

Alexander-Arnold was due to be the only player to keep his place from Liverpool’s back four against AC Milan, but instead, Klopp has fielded an all-new defence.

“That’s rotation,” he continued.

“It was clear that Virgil and Ibou would start today together, and then Kostas makes sense as well.

“[Tsimikas] played really well for us this season already, Robbo now had a lot of games – with Scotland and us – in his legs, so that was clear.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara warms-up during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fewer changes were made in midfield and attack, with only Thiago and Mane coming in respectively, which the manager attributed to the need for rhythm.

“We need to make changes, but we need rhythm as well,” he said.

“That’s why there are not too many changes in midfield, so we go again with Fab and Hendo; up front, only Sadio is coming back, which makes sense.

“[It is a] good team, obviously, and we need all the energy we can get for this game today, because Crystal Palace is a physically strong team, well-organised.

“We have to break them down with football in moments and have to defend them on the highest level.

“Because [their] counter-attacking and in general the offensive skillset is pretty impressive.”