Liverpool face Derby County in the League Cup on Tuesday evening.
With it being a League Cup affair, Klopp is expected to make changes to the side, and rest some players. Often teams field a weaker team against a side in a lower division, but Klopp clarified that he will be giving Derby all the respect and will not take this match lightly.
“In my opinion, we only have strong lineups. That’s good news. We will find a strong lineup. We won’t rest 100% fit players.”
“They don’t have the results until now, but it says nothing. There is no pressure on them in this tournament. They are favourites in the league. It’s a big opportunity. We watched as many games as possible; they created a lot of chances.”
“The Championships is really competitive & difficult. I read the other day maybe it’s easier to stay in Premier League than get promoted to Championship. If you have to motivate your team in competitions like this, then you have absolutely no chance.”
Considering that Klopp insisted on fielding a powerful eleven, he was quizzed on the fitness of Roberto Firmino, who missed the Chelsea clash with a small injury. Klopp confirmed that the player is fit to be reinstated in the line-up.
“Roberto is in training. We gave him yesterday (off) because medical department told me, he could have played, but I decided no. They told me if we give him three days it will be perfect. Today is the fourth day.”
However, the German manager hasn’t made any final decisions on who all will be starting the game.
Klopp: “No decisions yet as the session this afternoon will be important. Then decisions. But Firmino is back in training.”
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) September 19, 2016
Meanwhile, Klopp and Mamadou Sakho don’t seem to be on sound terms. The club attempted to send the player out on loan in the transfer window, but Sakho refused the same and decided to stay and fight for his future. Many fans were left wondering if Sakho would get a chance to prove himself again in the League Cup tie.
Klopp chose to solely focus on the Frenchman’s fitness, which he doesn’t think is close to match-fitness right now. He said, “Of course he is closer (to fitness). But there’s a big difference between match fitness. That’s all. It’s not about how the player feels; it’s about how I feel. It’s a long, long time that he hasn’t played.”
Although not questioned on the matter, we might see Loris Karius make his professional debut for the Reds in the tie. Karius was expected to seriously pressure Simon Mignolet for the number one spot this season, only for injury to dampen his early chances of a start. While Mignolet has done decently, he might find himself down the pecking order if his German equivalent can make an impression in the League Cup tie, provided he gets a chance.