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Klopp Talk: The Boss Explains Last Night’s Changed Lineup

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There were five changes to the Champions League squad to face Genk last night. Seemed to work out pretty well.

KRC Genk v Liverpool FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Rotation can be a tricky balancing act, even for the best of managers. It has been no exception for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this season, with the manager reluctant to make too many changes to an in-form side.

Unfortunately, if you don’t rotate, rotations are likely to be forced on you, either through exhaustion or injury. This was the situation Klopp faced going into last night’s 4-1 win against Genk, which saw 5 changes to the starting lineup.

“It was clear we needed fresh legs and wanted that and the boys showed up on the weekend,” Klopp remarked before the match.

“Obviously [Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] are in good shape and we wanted to use that, and we don’t have to force Gini and Hendo through all the games. Mo, it was clear since Sunday that he’s able to play and he is completely fine.

“In the back line we had to do it so that’s all OK. So, all good. I like it. We didn’t think about how many changes there are, we only realized later that it’s five, but I still think we have a pretty good team on the pitch.”

Indeed, it ended up being a very good team on the pitch.

It’s also interesting to note that Salah was ready to play since Sunday. It’s surprising that he didn’t even make the bench against United (and his presence certainly could have been used). However, considering how “physical” the derby match ended up being, perhaps leaving Mo at home was the right call for the rest of the season.

Keita and Ox absolutely shined on the evening. The former absolutely bossed the center of the park, and the latter chimed in with two superb goals. If anything, they both made good arguments for further rotation in the near future for the Liverpool boss.