MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 25, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp explains key factor to ‘tough’ rotation hopes – plus Thiago update

Jurgen Klopp has conceded that his hopes of rotating his squad through “the toughest period in world football” are reliant on Liverpool avoiding any further injury setbacks.

The German was able to make nine changes to his starting XI on Thursday evening as the Reds secured passage to the Europa League knockout stages as group winners with a 4-0 win over LASK.

However, whether he can take a similar approach for an upcoming run of eight games in 24 days depends on keeping his players fit during that gruelling run.

Liverpool are already without Alisson, Diogo Jota, Andy Robertson, Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic, and their room for manoeuvre would be severely hampered by any more injuries.

Klopp said: “I am not sure we can rotate all the time, I don’t know, it depends on who is available. [vs. LASK] we could do it, that’s why we did it.

“When you lose in Toulouse, people tell you too it’s too many changes, no rhythm. I’d think it myself if I saw the game, is it the right decision? The problem is it’s already done.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, November 30, 2023: Liverpool players line-up for a team group photograph before during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 5 game between Liverpool FC and LASK at Anfield. Back row L-R: Ibrahima Konaté, goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, Fábio Carvalho, Cody Gakpo, Jarell Quansah, Joe Gomez. Front row L-R: Mohamed Salah, Harvey Elliott, Wataru Endo, Luis Díaz, Kostas Tsimikas. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We have to do it as long as we can, but I don’t know if we can do it. You saw Newcastle playing in the Champions League with two goalies and three kids on the bench, and a centre-half. That is really tough.

“We have to make sure we have as many available as much as you can have influence on it, which we don’t have really.

“We watch it, take what we get, and go from there. As I said, the toughest period in world football is coming up and it’s a good start [vs. LASK], now let’s keep going.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara (L) and John Powell during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp was also pushed for a further update on Thiago, who has been sidelined since undergoing hip surgery in May.

He added: “Nothing changed, we said that needs time and we will give him that time. See him every day, still a fantastic guy who works hard to get back.”