Liverpool changed seven players and still ran out a side that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Tuesday in the EFL Cup as their cruised past Derby County 3-0. The changes were expected. What perhaps wasn’t that a few regulars wouldn’t even be included on the bench.
Adam Lallana, Gini Wijnaldum, and Daniel Sturridge were all left off the squad entirely. According to manager Jürgen Klopp, all three were nursing minor knocks. Nothing serious enough to keep them out long-term, but given he had options, a night off seemed appropriate.
“Adam and Gini were not in the squad, but they will be ready and trained yesterday completely normal,” said the manager. “Daniel made something like a final test yesterday, so he had three days without training but he should be training today. I think he’ll be ready but we’ll see.
“They had little issues. Gini got a knock on his knee, it was swollen but not a risk, but he was not at 100% for Derby. He was not in the squad but trained on the day. The same with Adam Lallana, who felt the intensity of the last games a bit, so there was no reason to try anything.”
After playing a mid-week cup tie this week, Liverpool return to just one game a week for the next five, with Hull, Swansea, Manchester United, and West Brom sandwiching the October international break. Their EFL Cup tie against Tottenham is set for the 24th or 25th of next month.
For Klopp and his players, it should mean plenty of time to train—and to recover from any minor knocks they might pick up along the way. Outside of Joe Gomez, who is working on building strength following a long layoff, the club have no major injury concerns.
“Now we have two days until Saturday,” added Klopp. “So we will see who will train all of the time and is ready for the game. The other players from the bench Tuesday, they had no problems and have no problems.”