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Hendo and Robbo update – 4 key points from Klopp’s pre-Porto press conference

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Jurgen Klopp had plenty to discuss prior to Liverpool’s meeting with Porto, with team selection, Tyler Morton and who may be available all discussed.

Here are four key points from the manager’s press conference ahead of the clash at Anfield:

 

1. Klopp hints at rotation

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, September 27, 2021: Liverpool's (L-R) Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and captain Jordan Henderson during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A place in the last 16 is secure for Liverpool and while injuries will limit Klopp’s options, the manager will “think about our players and our schedule first.”

But he was eager to stress that “we always respect the competition.”

Whether Jordan Henderson or Andy Robertson prove their fitness in time to be considered in that rotation remains to be seen, however.

“Hendo we will see. Yesterday wasn’t 100 percent. He can do pretty much everything but it’s about being 100 percent. When he came on against Arsenal it was to see the game out.

“Robbo similar. Both are okay….but ready to start? I have to make that decision.”

 

2. Klopp’s irritation after Jota injury

HERNING, DENMARK - Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Midtjylland and Liverpool FC at the Herning Arena. (Pic by Lars Møller/Propaganda)

It’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation for Klopp regarding his team selection.

Last season he made changes at Midtjylland and questions of respecting the competition arose, then Diogo Jota got injured and it was an argument of why you would play a key player in a dead rubber.

And Klopp was rightly irritated when the situation was posed to him once more.

“It’s really easy to sit there and judge us in these moments and say, ‘leave him out.’ We don’t have enough players for that by the way,” Klopp said.

“The Jota situation was very unlucky and I hated it, I hated it but would I make the decision the same would be the only question I have to answer. Yes, because you need stability.”

 

3. “We want to win”

PORTO, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, September 28, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Irrespective of what Klopp does or does not do with his team selection, the objective remains the same.

“Everyone expects us to win each game – there is a lot of pressure on our shoulders. We don’t have to win the game tomorrow but we want to win the game tomorrow.

“In our Champions League history, we usually fight until the last second of the last group game!”

Thankfully, Champions League drama is not on the cards but finishing strong is key.

 

4. ‘Confidence exploded’ for Morton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Liverpool's substitute Tyler Morton makes his League debut during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 19-year-old has had a season to remember so far and is expected to be in contention against Porto, and the boss was full of praise for the growth he has seen in recent months.

“He was not overly confident [in pre-season] and tried to adapt to what the first team are doing, then the game against Norwich and he played a super game, to be honest, that made all the difference.

“His confidence level exploded and I saw for the first time the real Tyler Morton, 2021.

“Then he plays Preston game, really mature. How development with young players works. A really good example.

“Bringing them on in a game in the right moment has the biggest impact.”

Will another right moment come under the lights at Anfield on Wednesday?

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