For yesterday’s trip to St. James Park, Jurgen Klopp made five changes to his Liverpool side form the XI that defeated Villarreal 2-0 earlier this week.
Eyebrows were raised before the game when our German boss opted to drop Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho to the bench and start with James Milner and Naby Keita instead.
Jordan Henderson retained his spot in the starting XI but was pushed deeper into the No. 6 role often occupied by our Brazillian No. 3.
And following the game, as relayed by GOAL’s Neil Jones via his Twitter account, Klopp expressed his delight at the trio’s showings, singling out our skipper and his impressive display in a slightly different role to the one he’s become accustomed to this term.
Klopp in his post-match press conference.
"Milner played a super game. A super game. But I don't want to take anything away, but I liked Naby's game too, and Hendo in the '6'…"#LFC
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) April 30, 2022
READ MORE: Naby Keita on a ‘great performance’ for Liverpool where he opened the scoring against Newcastle in the Premier League
We do now have serious strength in depth which is absolutely vital when you remain in contention for all four trophies like we do.
Facing Newcastle away from home is always a potential banana skin, especially when it’s a lunchtime kick-off after playing in Europe’s premier competition just three days prior.
All the lads put in a great shift and even without Fabinho, who is arguably one of our most important players, our midfield still looked as solid as ever.
You’d expect the 28-year-old to return to the starting XI for the trip to Spain next week but with games continuing to come thick and fast, it’s pleasing to see that Klopp can make changes and still expect a top-quality showing.
#Ep47 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast (Special Edition): Klopp reportedly extends Liverpool contract until 2026. WHAT?