Liverpool have a fairly cemented starting XI right now.
Loris Karius starts in goal, Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner run the flanks at fullback. Joel Matip starts with either Ragnar Klavan or Dejan Lovren next to him. Jordan Henderson anchors the midfield with Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum either side. Sadio Mane plays on the right, Coutinho on the left, with Roberto Firmino central and Daniel Sturridge waiting to cover any of the attacking spots.
Without European football to contend with, it could be suggested that Liverpool’s squad is less important this year and it’s this core starting XI that we’ll rely on, but Jurgen Klopp disagrees.
He says the brilliant work from the larger group midweek pushes the current starters on to higher levels. According to the boss, they need to maintain their focus and discipline as they could be called upon at any minute.
“They are all involved all the time – that’s how it is,” Klopp told yesterday’s press conference (cited in the Echo).
“With no cup game in the middle of the week we always have a week for training and we work together to try to have a high intensity in all parts of the game – concentration, readiness, levels, all this stuff.
“Every player is important for this and every player is involved. I don’t say this to keep them cool and calm – it is the truth.
“If we stop working hard on this part of the game then we cannot make the next step that we 100% have to do.
“With starting line-ups we always talk about the present, the moment, but we all have to be ready for anything that can happen in the next two or three weeks.
“It is very important they are all in very good shape and that’s how it is in this moment.”
Liverpool have won our past three Premier League games, thrashing Hull City last time out, but face a tricky trip to Wales to take on Swansea on Saturday lunchtime. There’s an irritating international break immediately afterwards and Liverpool don’t play again until October 17, so it’s crucial that we maintain the pressure on the leaders. A loss could see us drop to eighth – that’s how close the table is.