Jürgen Klopp rules out any Liverpool rotation for Champions League clash with Maribor

Liverpool will not make any huge changes for the trip to NK Maribor for a potentially pivotal UEFA Champions League group stage game on Tuesday night, manager Jürgen Klopp has said.

Jürgen Klopp rules out any Liverpool rotation for Champions League clash with Maribor
(Picture: Getty Images - John Powell)

Jürgen Klopp has ruled out the possibility of rotation and insists he will field the strongest imaginable Liverpool line-up against NK Maribor on Tuesday night.

The Reds return to Champions League action in Slovenia looking for their first victory in Europe this season after drawing their opening two Group E games.

Following on from a 0-0 draw against arch-rivals Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, journalists at his pre-match press conference at the Stadion Ljudski vrt posed the question as to whether changes could be expected.

But the Reds boss declared that there was "no chance" of him making widespread alterations to the team, adding: "Everybody thinks ahead of a game like this, 'this is the place where you can rotate'. It's the last place I would do things like this."

He acknowledged that the visitors could make "one or two changes" but declared Liverpool's "first job" is "not to think the same thing" he feels the English press are thinking, warning they cannot "underestimate the opponent."

Klopp noted that Maribor have played "nine Champions League games so far" this season and joked that they "chose the hard way" by going through all three of the necessary qualification rounds, hailing their "quality" and "mentality" to reach the groups.

He also referenced the fact that Maribor's 12,700-seater stadium is "not usually sold out" but "will be sold out" for the visit of his team, revealing his expectation that the home fans will generate "a special atmosphere."

"I need to think about this and not about giving anyone Champions League experience or whatever," Klopp said in response to a suggestion he might have included Ben Woodburn - again in Steven Gerrard's under-19s squad - in the senior squad for the first time.

Klopp cautious of Maribor's forward threat

Liverpool have suffered a rut of form in September and October, winning just one of eight matches in all competitions, and Klopp believes they must be wary against the Slovenian PrvaLiga champions.

Maribor - who have won the title in six of the last seven seasons - are 14 games unbeaten domestically and despite having yet to win in Europe this season, will be no pushovers.

Klopp said that Liverpool have analysed their two Champions League fixtures this season and that against Spartak Moscow, who Maribor drew 1-1 with, and Sevilla, who they lost 3-0 to, their displays were "a little bit different."

The German manager noted that Maribor "is a top team in Maribor" and so "usually have to make the game, attack, do a lot of offensive things."

He declared that from the games he has watched it is clear that Maribor are "an offensive-minded team" with "offensive players really strong, in style, keeping and protecting the ball."

Klopp also spoke of the home side's "fluent play, different build-up formations" and their attempts to "find the two No.6s, playing through balls" and "stuff like this."

He reflected upon Maribor's creativity which requires Liverpool "to be concentrated" at the back, declaring: "In some moments they will be compact and together, we have to do the same."

Klopp said that Liverpool cannot simply "wait until they lose the ball" and said from his point of view it "has to be a high-intensity game because it's a very important game for both teams", calling his side to "be ready" for such an aggressive encounter.