Wolves V Liverpool: Pictures
Liverpool must copy Arsenal on Thursday night as they look to get their Europa League campaign underway on the right foot when they take on Austrian side LASK. Jurgen Klopp has insisted that he will need to ensure that his team are up to the challenge, but he risks overrating his opponent and thus failing to rotate as much as he needs.
With the Reds’ fixture list set to become more cluttered, the Anfield outfit are now approaching a stage in the season when rotation will be pivotal. Youngsters like Jarell Quansah and Ben Doak are therefore likely to be called up on some occasions, with fringe stars like Konstantinos Tsimikas and Joel Matip also set to be in the mix.
Liverpool head into their match against LASK on the back of a hard-fought victory against Wolves last Saturday, and they return to Premier League action on Sunday when they travel to West Ham. Thus, fielding a weakened side in Austria looks a logical step for Klopp to take.
Mikel Arteta frequently rotated his Arsenal side in the Europa League last season, and the Spaniard’s decision should be replicated. For the Gunners’ opening match of the competition 12 months ago, Arteta made seven changes to take on Zurich.
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Gabriel, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli were the only four players to start the game as well as against Manchester United a few days prior, in what was a major reshuffle by Arteta.
Several youngsters were also called up by the Arsenal boss to fill the bench, enabling the prospects to gain valuable experience and give him alternative options late on in the match if his starting eleven had put the game to bed early.
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Klopp may therefore feel that it is a good opportunity for his fringe players to stake their claim as to why they warrant consideration over the coming weeks, with an EFL Cup game against Leicester City and a tough trip to Tottenham on the horizon.
Speaking ahead of the match, Klopp said: “If there will be kids involved that depends on the level the kids can show in that moment. That means we have real talent there, honestly. But it’s not experimental… I think if we don’t get hit by an injury crisis or whatever, then we should have enough players to field [on] Thursday and Sunday a top team, and that’s pretty much the idea. Then we will see how we build a squad.”
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