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All Aboard! Klopp Takes Strong Side To Russia

With Liverpool in a precarious position in the Europa League group, Klopp is expected to bring all eligible, healthy senior players to face Rubin Kazan on Thursday night.

The gang's all here.
The gang's all here.
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool trotted out the three-man back line of Emre Can, Kolo Touré, and Joe Gomez. Jordan Rossiter started in midfield. And the line was led by Divock Origi as a healthy Danny Ings was shuffled out wide. Mignolet, Clyne, Allen, Lallana, and Ibe rounded out the rest of the starting XI as Liverpool were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to FC Sion in Rodgers' second to last game.

In comparison, Jürgen Klopp reverted to a four-man back line, featuring regular starters Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho, and Alberto Moreno at left back. Milner and Can were in, as was Coutinho. Origi once again started up top, but this time out of necessity, as Liverpool faced a striker crisis nearly as severe as Spinal Tap's drummer predicament. The result, again, was a disappointing 1-1 draw, albeit from a greatly improved performance.

There are a lot of reasons to leave a few players home for the roughly 5,000 mile round-trip to Kazan, Russia. The two-day gap between games. Jet-lag. Exhaustion. Seven games in just over three weeks. Not subjecting your players to Russia in November. So on. But reports indicate that Klopp is bringing all healthy, eligible players along for the ride.

This move, along with the strengthened line-up the last time out, gives a strong indication of just how seriously Klopp takes Liverpool's Europa League campaign. It is a far cry from when Rodgers left Skrtel, Milner, Lucas, Benteke, Clyne, and Lovren, all of whom were healthy and eligible, at home for the much shorter trip to Bordeaux.

With players rounding into form under Klopp, and playing with renewed confidence, perhaps the long haul to Russia isn't the worst thing in the world. At the very least, no one can accuse the new boss of not prioritizing the competition.

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