With Liverpool set to take on Toulouse in their third group stage match of the 2023-24 edition of the Europa League on Thursday, some had speculated that a heavy dose of rotation could be in order for Jürgen Klopp’s Reds.
Not so fast, though, says the Liverpool manager. Not with a chance to go to nine points is on the line and they’re facing the second side in the group—a side that could leap past them if they can pull off an upset victory at Anfield.
“We want to win football games and that’s the next opportunity we have,” Klopp said. “It would bring us to nine points and keep Toulouse on four points, that’s all clear. But knowing that changed nothing. We have to play to our best.
“We will make a few changes, not too many maybe, we will see. But we have to make sure that we are really ready for the competition and the boys showed so far that we are ready for the competition. That’s what I want to see.”
Some rotation will be expected, with Curtis Jones currently serving a Premier League suspension and likely to start. Darwin Nuñez, too, seems likely after he started the last game on the bench after a late return from international duty.
Having played early on Saturday and with their next league game on Sunday, though—and the League Cup the next mid-week match—Klopp is largely free to select a squad without much consideration for the need to rest players.
Meanwhile, as Klopp highlights, a win against Toulouse would mean nine points from three games for the Reds and ensure that no other side could end the round with more than four, all but ensuring advancement to the next round.
“We hope to go far in this competition and for that we have to make the decisive steps and tomorrow night is a very big one,” he added. “Toulouse deserves all our respect. It’s a really interesting story, winning the French cup last year.
“But we have to see how they show up, and we have to make sure that we are really ready. Then it’s about us, that’s very important. I’m sure they are looking forward to playing at Anfield—we have to make sure they cannot enjoy it.”