Jurgen Klopp explains reason for Harvey Elliott starting despite 6 changes

Jurgen Klopp has made six changes to his Liverpool side to face Brighton, but Harvey Elliott has kept his place having been hailed a “super player.”

The Reds are in East Sussex for their eighth game of the Premier League campaign, three days after a 2-0 victory over Union SG at Anfield.

With such little time to prepare and such a tight turnaround, Klopp had already planned to make a number of changes between the two fixtures.

But the inclusion of Elliott over Wataru Endo, who was brought off at half-time in midweek in what the manager described as a planned change, came as something of a surprise.

The 20-year-old has kept his place along with Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez, with Klopp explaining why.

“Just the way Harvey looked in the last weeks. He played a good game on Thursday,” he said in his pre-match interview with Sky Sports.

“He’s not overplayed, I would say, recently. He came on a couple of times, played games, has kind of rhythm, and he’s a super player.

“So that was the decision behind that.

“We need to be really strong, good on the ball, good in one-on-one situations. The man-marking of Brighton requires real physicality on the ball, or being really quick.

“He can be both, together with all the others, so that was the reason.”

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 7, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott applauds the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and SV Darmstadt 98 at Deepdale. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With seven players out including Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones, there are fewer options from the bench for Klopp at the AMEX.

But he will be hoping his starting lineup is strong enough to get the job done against a Brighton side who suffered in a 2-2 draw with Marseille on Thursday night.

Elliott, for his part, will be raring to go, telling Sky Sports that he was “over the moon” to make his first league start of the season.

“You can see the quality in the team, and it’s part of football, waiting for your opportunity, and hopefully I can take it,” the midfielder said.