Jürgen Klopp admits he's still considering whether Liverpool will make any changes to their starting line-up for Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Maribor, but Loris Karius is set to return in goal.
A 21-man squad departed the city’s John Lennon Airport just before 1pm on Monday afternoon for Slovenia, where the Reds will aim to record a first group-stage victory of the tournament so far after draws with Sevilla and Spartak Moscow.
The game will be Liverpool’s second of three in eight days following Saturday’s stalemate with Manchester United and a fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley to come on Sunday.
Nevertheless, Klopp feels his squad is in good condition ahead of the Group E tie, but will contemplate making some changes to his XI following Monday’s training session at the home of the Slovenian champions.
He told Liverpoolfc.com as the flight disembarked: “The squad is in good shape. I don’t have to say a lot about this because I think everybody who is interested or has watched the games will have seen in our performances that we’re physically good.
“As I’ve said, I know how it sounds when I say this all the time because we don’t have the results, but it’s about keeping on going, doing the right things again and still improving. There is space for us to improve, of course, but the shape in general is good. That’s what we have to keep and I’m fine.
“We will see about rotation. I don’t think it is necessary, but maybe one, two, three or four changes [will be made]. We will see.
“It’s a very, very important game so, again, it’s always a decision about rhythm and being used to each other or bringing in fresh legs. We have a lot of games but I don’t think the intensity of the last game should be a reason for the line-up for this game.”
One confirmed change is that of Karius, who will replace Simon Mignolet in goal for Liverpool to start his third successive Champions League encounter.
Klopp added: “Yes, Loris will start. If nothing happens from here on the way to Maribor, then Loris will start!”
Elsewhere, the manager reported no fresh injury concerns following Saturday’s goalless draw with United at Anfield and believes his players will have had sufficient time to recover come kick-off against Maribor on Tuesday night.
Klopp said: “How it always is after a game, there are a few little things but so far the Doc hasn’t come to me to say one player or another is not available, so we’re pretty much the same.
“We have a couple of players more here, but it’s the same squad [as for United] plus a few more players here.”
He added: “It was more mentally intense [against United], how it always is. It was not up and down, up and down, up and down… we had the ball quite often and we were really concentrated and that’s intense, but this kind of intensity you can usually recover from in two days.”