Liverpool have won their Champions League group and, in the midst of a congested fixture list and with a slew of injuries to the defence and midfield, Jürgen Klopp could be forgiven if he sent the youth and reserves to face FC Midtjylland.
However, the Liverpool manager says it will be the regular squad heading off to face their final group stage opponent in Europe’s premier cup competition on Wednesday—though some of his regular stars will undoubtedly get the night off.
“Our Champions League squad was already very young,” Klopp noted at his pre-match press conference today. “We have four, five, six [youth] players involved in the squad. And yes, they will travel and then we will make decisions.
“We will see. It’s the first time we don’t have to get a result in the last match of the group stage. We have to consider the general situation, but we have to consider as well it’s Champions League, we are Liverpool, and we want to win.”
One imagines that, if at all possible, midfielders Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson along with defenders like Andy Robertson will get the night off, but many younger players who have already been key in recent weeks will play.
Meanwhile, in attack Klopp has four top players fit and fighting for minutes at three positions, meaning at least two of Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mané, and Mohamed Salah will likely start alongside a Takumi Minamino or Divock Origi.
“Whichever line-up we have, it’s clear to the boys what kind of football we want to play,” Klopp added. “So there are a lot of things that I want to see, but that is pretty much what I want to see in all the games so this game is no different.
“This game is only one part different and that is we don’t have to win it, but we still want to win it. That’s what I want to see, that everybody can see we go there and want to win the football game.”