Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stressed that he will play his strongest team in Wednesday’s League Cup encounter with Southampton as he feels they lack the depth to rest key players.
The Anfield side saw off Bournemouth in October to book their ticket for the quarter-finals and Klopp is determined to make the most of the occasion and take another step toward winning silverware.
“In an ideal world, you need six angry players who are not in the squad, but that’s not our situation. It will be a puzzle, but it will be the strongest team, for sure,” Klopp said at a news conference.
“The biggest fault you can make is think about the next round. Our focus is on Southampton only. They’re pretty hot on this game, they’ve lost their last two games and they want to bounce back.
“If we want to go through we have to fight. I knew Southampton from before. They’re a good team, brilliantly offensively. [Dusan] Tadic is difficult to play against.
“We’re still far away from the final. I’m excited and looking forward to the game, but you have to respect the situation.”
Philippe Coutinho could make his comeback on Wednesday after a brief spell on the sidelines, while Klopp also had good news about Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson, who both made their comeback in the weekend win over Swansea City after a knee injury.
“I can’t make a decision about Coutinho right now because we haven’t trained yet,” Klopp added. “But he will be close to being ready. It’s possible that he will play.
“The return of Sturridge and Henderson was good news. They did their job, which was important for us to keep the result. It was not easy. Daniel did what we spoke about before. He should be our target for winning balls, be the first option. That’s what he did. Everyone could see Sturridge’s quality.
“We cannot ignore that this game could have overtime, 120 minutes would be too much for both. But if nothing happens from now, they will be in the squad. We have these two options.”
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