The team sheets are out for today’s match against Crystal Palace, and Klopp has chosen a heavily rotated team in preparation for the return leg of the Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim. He’s made five, which include an entirely different back line, and see Joe Gomez playing right-back in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 18-year-old goalscorer against Hoffenheim will be given a much needed break, despite Klopp not having another true right-back on the team ready to take his place. He played two big games last week and will likely play on Tuesday, so giving him a chance to rest his legs is probably the right decision. In turn, Joe Gomez will earn his first start of the season in what could be a very big moment for him.
While Alexander-Arnold has impressed in the early days of this season, thoughts are on when veteran right-back Nathaniel Clyne will return from his injury layoff. Klopp had some words about that during his pre-game press conference that won’t be a comfort to those concerned.
“We sorted it and with all experts and everything, not just our own medical department,” he said. “Having a rest and doing a program in the summer, he would be sorted. But he started again and was not. That’s how medicine is.
“I have had situations like this before. For us it’s another situation which is not perfect. We work on these things to find a solution.”
As for his young new star, Klopp is being careful to maintain his fitness and not put too much pressure on his shoulders.
“Yes, he is a big talent but I think we speak too much about him,” he added. “That’s not my problem because I want a situation where the boy can develop, make mistakes.
“Did I laugh at the mistake he made (against Hoffenheim)? No. But it showed everything in one game.”
“He has a lot to learn, a lot to adapt. I can only change situations if I have the opportunities but can we have five full backs come through? Of course not. There are a lot of challenges.”
Alexander-Arnold’s next challenge will likely be helping Liverpool keep their lead against Hoffenheim when the German club visits Anfield on Tuesday.