EPL

Klopp will keep rotating to cope with intensity and injuries

By Sports Desk October 30, 2020

Jurgen Klopp will keep rotating Liverpool's players to survive the intensity and demands of a schedule that has left his squad blighted by injuries.

Liverpool head into Saturday's Premier League clash against West Ham with several players absent as the routine of back-to-back midweek and weekend games takes a toll.

Klopp is set to have just one senior centre-back – Joe Gomez – available after Fabinho limped out of their midweek Champions League win over Danish side Midtjylland with a hamstring problem.

The Brazilian was filling in at the heart of defence after a long-term knee injury sustained by Virgil van Dijk and ongoing fitness problems for Joel Matip following the Merseyside derby.

Teenager Rhys Williams came off the bench to replace Fabinho and is poised to be handed a Premier League debut against the Hammers at Anfield, when the Reds will be hoping to equal their longest unbeaten home run in league matches by making it 63 without defeat.

Liverpool are also set to check on the fitness of midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita as they continue to recover from knocks.

"We have to try to get through this period. If you look at October it is like a normal November or December," Klopp said at a media conference on Friday.

"We have the intensity of the most hectic schedule. We have this every year in December, but we have it now which is why we make these decisions, and we will make them.

"Fab is not in, that's clear. He got an injury and so he will be out for the weekend and probably slightly longer.

"Both Naby and Thiago are on a good way, that's how it is with rehab or recovery. You saw the incident, how it happened, with Thiago so that obviously needs now a little bit of time to settle.

"Nobody can say exactly how long because nothing is ruptured and nothing is broken or stuff like this. He's desperate to make the next steps.

"If he will be ready, we will see. Same with Naby, just a different kind of injury I would say."

Klopp confirmed his decision to withdraw Liverpool captain Henderson at half-time against Midtjylland embodied the kind of squad rotation which will be necessary in the coming weeks.

"Jordan does not have a fitness problem. It's just I can count a little bit – I can count the games Jordan has played," Klopp continued.

"My job is to use the squad in the best possible way. That's what I try to do. For Sheffield United, we changed slightly so it's possible that we'll do similar at weekend.

"It depends on who we have available and what would make sense against specific opponents.

"It's a challenge but that's how it is. We don't complain, it's just the situation."

Klopp, meanwhile, said he will relish finding a solution to Liverpool's defensive problems in the absence of key players.

He added: "Maybe enjoying isn't the right word, but long ago I discovered life is challenge.

"Problems are only there to find solutions, and yes the solutions I am excited about them that's true. I see the challenge in the situation, there's an opportunity that's true.

"We play football games every few days so that is a challenge. We will make the best of it."

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