Now that the calendar has flipped to December, the Premier League’s busy season has officially begun. Liverpool, fresh off of a 4-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening, are heading to Molineux Stadium for a bout with Wolverhampton tomorrow afternoon.
Despite the upcoming fixture congestion and the short break between matches, manager Jürgen Klopp does not plan to sit many of the starters from the Merseyside Derby win.
“Players’ welfare is of course very important but we are used to a tough schedule, the boys are used to a tough schedule obviously. I don’t think we have to make now plenty of changes between the games now, at least not at the start of December,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
The German manager feels confident his players will be ready for Wolves despite a quick turnaround, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see more rotation as the busy festive period progresses.
“We have to see how it will be in the middle or the end of December. We will see. It’s a constant conversation with the medical department, the fitness department. We have pretty much all data we can have and use them.”
One of the silver linings of the many injuries so far this season is that there has been a good deal of forced rotation as players have gone down and then returned to the squad. This has helped ensure that not many players have played the full slate of matches over the first leg of the campaign, so match fitness should be relatively high throughout the squad.
“Looking at that, then making a line-up which gives you a big chance to win the next football game. This week it’s the same. We changed quite a lot in the last few weeks,” said Klopp.
“This week we play Wolves. Wolves played Wednesday as well, so the same for both teams. So we will see what we do exactly, I didn’t make the line-up yet, but I wouldn’t expect now seven or eight changes.”
While there are likely to be at least a few changes, Klopp’s men also have the benefit of their midweek match against AC Milan being meaningless as the Reds have already locked up their Champion’s League group.
This means they can play most of their first choice 11 against Wolves, rest many of them for the dead-rubber in Italy, and then field a strong, rested starting lineup when Steven Gerrard makes his Anfield return as Aston Villa manager next Saturday.