- Jurgen Klopp explains Dejan Lovren absence against Watford
- Croatian reportedly misses out due to minor injury
- Klopp adamant decision had nothing to do with Manchester United defeat
- SEE MORE: Jurgen Klopp trolls Man Utd over Liverpool’s Champions League draw
Jurgen Klopp insists Dejan Lovren’s omission from the Liverpool team for Saturday’s clash with Watford is not a tactical decision.
The Croatian is ruled out due to a seemingly innocuous injury, but one the Reds are taking caution over amid a defining stage of the season.
Lovren is replaced by Joel Matip at the centre of defence as one of four changes made to the team from last week’s defeat to Manchester United.
“It is nothing to do with last week. Dejan is not available, that’s the first reason,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“That’s it, pretty much. We had a normal training week so we used the week and had a look at what we think we could need against Watford – and that’s the outcome.”
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Lovren had been expected to drop out of the starting lineup prior to news of his injury, having endured a difficult afternoon against Romelu Lukaku at Old Trafford.
Two weak aerial challenges from the centre-back allowed Marcus Rashford to capitalise in clinical fashion on two occasions to give the hosts a decisive early lead.
It served as the first underwhelming performance from the former Southampton man in a number of months, with Lovren having managed to assert some composure and leadership to find a touch of form since Virgil van Dijk’s arrival.
Elsewhere in the team set to face Watford, Jordan Henderson and Georgina Wijnaldum slot back into midfield in place of James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Joe Gomez also returns to take the spot of Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back after missing Liverpool’s last five league outings.