Klopp explains plan for Europa lineups – ‘Not experimental’
Jurgen Klopp insists there will be no “experimental” Liverpool lineups in the Europa League, though chances are likely for his young players.
Missing out on a top-four finish last season, the Reds enter the Europa League for the first time since Klopp’s maiden campaign on Merseyside.
That has led to suggestions that Liverpool would prioritise the Premier League, with much-changed lineups predicted against LASK, Union SG and Toulouse.
It remains to be seen how many alterations Klopp makes for the trip to LASK on Thursday night, and which youngsters are fielded, but the manager insists it won’t be “experimental.”
“If there will be kids involved that depends on the level the kids can show in that moment,” he told TNT Sports.
“We have real talent there, but it is not experimental.
“I think if we don’t get hit by an injury crisis then we should have enough players to field Thursday and Sunday a top team, and that’s pretty much the idea.”
As Klopp notes, the majority of positions in his squad now have two top-level options, and undoubtedly there will be certain players reserved for the Europa League.
Possible XI vs. LASK: Kelleher; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Endo, Elliott, Gravenberch; Doak, Diaz, Nunez
The manager has stressed the need to “respect the competition in the right manner” and “respect the opponents in the right manner,” setting his sights on the final in Dublin.
But as the likes of Caoimhin Kelleher, Kostas Tsimikas, Wataru Endo and potential debutant Ryan Gravenberch come in, there could also be opportunities for Ben Doak, Stefan Bajcetic, Jarell Quansah and Bobby Clark.
“I didn’t think about that yet to be honest because these kind of long-term plans in football make absolutely no sense because you can kick them in the bin pretty much the second after you had them, for whatever reason,” Klopp continued.
“So we will see.”
Those youngsters mentioned are already considered part of the wider first-team squad, though, with Klopp ruling out any unexpected debuts from lower down the age groups.
“We have good kids,” he added.
“That’s the benefit of the [recent] international break, when you have all these kids in training.
“We had 16-year-old boys here, and they are incredibly good, incredibly talented.
“I can’t wait for them, but now in the moment we leave them where they are, they shall develop and all these kinds of things.”