Jurgen Klopp lashes out at suggestion that a dead rubber match against Porto could cause unnecessary injuries as Liverpool ‘must respect the integrity of the competition’…
- Liverpool are preparing to host Portuguese giants Porto at Anfield this week
- The Champions League group has already been won by the side of Jurgen Klopp
- Last season saw Diogo Jota injured in a similar dead rubber band against Midtjylland
- Klopp hit back on a matter of halftime for the squad, but hinted at several changes
An angry Jurgen Klopp had little patience for questions about potential injuries on Tuesday, ahead of his Liverpool side who host Porto at Anfield mid-week.
Liverpool welcome the Portuguese giants to Merseyside for European action, knowing the outcome of the match means very little to them.
The Reds were thrown into the Champions League’s ‘Group of Death’ this season after being drawn alongside AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and also Porto, but have won every game so far, thus winning the group with two days remaining .
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will still ‘respect the integrity of the Champions League’ this week
And so, despite the game being a dead rubber for his men, Klopp nevertheless objected to a question from a reporter during Tuesday’s pre-game press conference asking if there was any fear of causing unnecessary injury – as did last season with Diogo Jota in an equally pointless match against Midtjylland.
Klopp replied: “It’s very easy to sit where you sit, or all the people judging us, and say ‘leave him out, leave him out, leave him out’.
The Reds haven’t lost a point yet and have already won the group with two games to go
“If we leave them all out and play with a team that is not a Champions League team – we don’t have enough players for that, by the way – then nobody can get hurt.
“But the first question was to what extent we respect the integrity of the competition.
“So it’s so easy to sit in your chair and ask these kinds of questions, to be honest.”
However, Klopp would later hint that the well-being of the players would naturally come first and that the thoughts of the club’s medical department would have a major impact on team selection.
Klopp added: “We always respect the competition, but we have to think about ourselves and our schedule and the situation of our players first.
“To be honest we haven’t made these decisions yet because how do we all know, at this time of the season the medical department has a big role in the lineup.
In a similar dead rubber last season with Midtjylland striker Diogo Jota ended up badly injured
Captain Jordan Henderson was only fit enough for a replacement role against Arsenal on Saturday after returning from England with a minor problem, while left-back Andy Robertson was eliminated completely after an injury at Scotland.
Both are now fit enough to face Porto, but Klopp has a balancing act to maintain.
“Hendo, we’ll see,” he added.
“Yesterday I would say he might not have been 100 percent. So he can play, he can do pretty much anything, but it’s about being really 100 percent fit.
“Robbo, similar. Both are OK, but now both are ready to play, ready to go, but with the schedule, with games coming up?
“We have to make these decisions.”