REUTERS - Liverpool must rotate their squad this season if they are to sustain their challenge in both the Premier League and the Champions League, manager Juergen Klopp has said.
Klopp made five changes to the starting lineup for Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, a game sandwiched in between two legs of their Champions League playoff against Hoffenheim.
The German is taking nothing for granted despite Liverpool’s 2-1 lead over the Bundesliga side ahead of their return leg at Anfield.
”We all have pressure and it’s a quick start always,“ Klopp told reporters. ”You need to be there immediately, deliver and all that stuff.
”The difference this year is that it’s really hard, we all know a draw today, two points instead of four or six, it doesn’t feel good but you can sort it.
“You can’t do this in a Champions League qualifier. This intensity is really hard, for both teams not just us, yes that’s very special and that’s why we made the changes today.”
Substitutes Dejan Lovren, Emre Can and Mohamed Salah are all expected to return to the starting lineup against Hoffenheim on Wednesday.
Klopp said he will keep shuffling his pack during the European competition as long as the replacements continue to impress.
“It’s all about the boys. If they play in a game like this today, if they perform like this then yes, we will change, 100 percent,” he added.
“If not, we can’t because we cannot give a game away, we cannot say that’s not that important.”
Following their European qualifier, Liverpool host Arsenal in the league on Sunday.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly