Three games remain in Liverpool's season. Two of those matches are league games against Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion, followed by the most important game of the season for Liverpool: the Europa League final against Sevilla. Though there is still over a week before Liverpool are due in Basel for the final, manager Jürgen Klopp is already fielding questions about who he might include on his team sheet.
"Of course there are places available," Klopp told the Liverpool Echo. "Who knows who is going to be in the line-up next Wednesday? I have no idea. Hopefully we will have more players coming back and then we will have a really difficult choice to make. But I haven't thought for one second yet about the line-up for Sevilla."
It's natural to assume that Klopp might already have started negotiating fitness concerns with tactical ones given that he only has three matches left to juggle. But so much can change from match to match, and with one but not two games ahead of the Europa League final, Klopp thinks such negotiations between himself and his players are ultimately futile.
"You cannot say ‘we will hold players back for the final'," Klopp said of the idea that he might rest key players on for one or both of the remaining league games. "We have to take what we can get from our last two league games and then we will see. Not one of the players who was rested on Sunday because of the intensity of Thursday night was like: ‘Yesssssss! How cool is this! Let me stay at home'.
"Instead they were like: ‘What? Why me?' They all wanted to play. (Adam) Lallana, Emre (Can), Dejan (Lovren), blah, blah, blah, all these guys. That's a good situation. I don't want to create a pressure and say ‘come on, show me you are ready for the final'. We will just see how things are over the coming days, how everyone is, and then we will make a decision for Chelsea, then for West Brom and then hopefully with the whole squad together for the final."
With the Chelsea match a week out from the final, it will be difficult to determine any kind of prioritization of players on Klopp's part based on his team sheet on Wednesday. But by the time Sunday rolls around, players and fans alike should have a much clearer idea of how Klopp might choose to set up his side in Basel.