Jürgen Klopp dismisses reports that he will 'rest' players against FC Porto

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has confirmed he will not make wholesale changes to his starting line-up against FC Porto at Anfield in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Jürgen Klopp dismisses reports that he will 'rest' players against FC Porto
(Getty Images - John Powell)

As final preparations for tonights second-leg Champions League knockout stage game come to a close, Jürgen Klopp explained that his final teamsheet decisions on who faces FC Porto will be decided hours before the game.

“I didn’t make the line-up so far because I couldn’t,” Klopp said.

“Today will be kind of a second-day recovery for the boys, which means I have to make the decision tomorrow morning when we do a little bit of tactical stuff. We’ll have a meeting and prepare the boys with the videos. That will make us ready for the game.

“It’s a challenge; if we would have won 1-0 or 2-0, nobody would ask me [about rotation]. That’s actually how I see it. Why should we think about it?

“It’s only because we scored two or three more goals to make it kind of cool. Afterwards, you have to get the rhythm back again.

“The boys look good in the moment and we should use that. It’s possible that we’ll make a few changes, of course, but only because we want to win the second half of the game.”

Reds cannot become complacent

Liverpool hold a commanding 5-0 lead from the first leg back in February when Sadio Mane’s hat-trick and goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino blew apart the Portuguese Primeira League leaders.

But Sérgio Conceição's side have won all four of their matches since his sides mauling at the Estádio do Dragão stadium three weeks ago. However, Klopp's respect for FC Porto will strongly determine the line-up he selects at Anfield tonight.

“It’s not about rest. We have to see,” said the manager immediately after the Premier League win against Newcastle United at the weekend.

“I have not thought a second about the line-up against Porto, but they have won all their games since we played them. They now have a big lead ahead of Sporting. They will strike back, that’s what they want.

“They are Portuguese and proud and will give a fight. They want to strike back. If anybody here thinks they come here and give the game up, leave their star players at home or whatever, they are mistaken.

“It’s Champions League and the whole world is watching. I don’t think for a second about resting anybody.

“I know it’s Manchester United afterwards but we cannot change it. We can’t say, ‘now we pick this and rest him’.”

"It's possible we'll make a few changes"

Liverpool had their final training session Monday afternoon, Klopp explained that final decisions will be made on who faces Conceicao’s team only in the hours before the game.

“I didn’t make the line-up so far because I couldn’t,” he said.

“Today will be kind of a second-day recovery for the boys, which means I have to make the decision tomorrow morning when we do a little bit of tactical stuff. We’ll have a meeting and prepare the boys with the videos. That will make us ready for the game.

“It’s a challenge; if we would have won 1-0 or 2-0, nobody would ask me [about rotation]. That’s actually how I see it. Why should we think about it?

“It’s only because we scored two or three more goals to make it kind of cool. Afterwards, you have to get the rhythm back again.

“The boys look good in the moment and we should use that. It’s possible that we’ll make a few changes, of course, but only because we want to win the second half of the game.”

Predicted Line-up

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Matip, Moreno, Can, Milner, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Solanke