Jurgen Klopp is quite concerned about his team’s fitness, as Liverpool are set to face two games in 24 hours and their schedule just keeps getting tighter as months go by.
The Reds are supposed to be in Qatar to play for the CWC, but must face Aston Villa for the Carabao Cup a day before, so he’s clearly worried about the lack of rest his players will be forced to go through:
“There were no plans to make 30 changes last year (in December) but it’s time to make them now, that is clear. That’s what we’ll do, 100 percent. It’s not FIFA or the PlayStation where players don’t need a rest. There is no time for rest. Still, we have to try to give them rests here and there. The others have to perform. We have to make these changes. That is clear,” Klopp told the press, as quoted by This is Anfield.
However, the German boss isn’t thinking about splitting the first team, as he claimed to trust the young players to step up the same way they did vs. Arsenal while the starters try to bring home another international trophy.
Not for one second. We won the Arsenal game (in the Carabao Cup) and we had to find a solution. It’s not perfect but it’s the best (option) So we go to Qatar, play the game and also try to win at Villa. I did not consider splitting the squad. We had to do it like this. I think it’s a really nice opportunity for the younger guys. I know everybody says (we have) no chance but that’s why football is a wonderful thing. I hope all the boys and the staff enjoy it. No pressure,” he concluded.
Liverpool are currently leading the race for the English Premier League and fought their way to the UEFA Champions Leagues’ knock-out stage, so things aren’t likely going to get easier for them down the road.