Jürgen Klopp plans to make changes for Liverpool's final game of the season at Southampton.
The Reds visit St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon for a match that has little on the line other than pride for both teams, with the hosts already relegated and Klopp’s side certain of finishing fifth in the Premier League.
Darwin Nunez, who has missed Liverpool’s last two outings with a toe issue, has returned to full training, while Klopp also provided news on the potential availability of Ibrahima Konate and Andy Robertson during Friday morning’s pre-match press conference.
“He [Nunez] trained yesterday, fully. Ibou was ill yesterday. Robbo felt something in his groin yesterday, he had a scan, that was fine but we anyway have to see how we can deal with that,” the boss said.
“Long-term [injured players] are still out, that’s clear. The rest should be alright.”
On his selection plans, Klopp stated: “We have to make sure that I find a line-up with good legs, a lot of desire. And we have to see.
“We will not take any risks with players, let me say it like this, that makes now no sense. But we have a big group together and the training week looked really good, the boys bought really into it, that was cool.
“But I didn’t make any kind of decisions because it’s now pretty early and I didn’t see the doc yet. I will have a brief conversation with him and then we will see who is in contention, and when we have that then I have to make sure we find players who are really in all departments ready for the game.
“I think it makes sense that we make changes, to be honest, just to get fresh legs on the pitch. And players who want to show something, besides the fact that we anyway want to win the game, that’s clear.”
Sunday’s game will be Roberto Firmino, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s last as Liverpool players, along with Naby Keita, who has been sidelined since March.
With that in mind, Klopp was asked whether his selection could be ‘sentimental’ and replied: “I will see. I don’t know. That was not actually in my thoughts yet, I want to line up the right team.
“But that could lead to the outside world [thinking that] because I will try to line up a team who is ready for this game for the 110, 112 kilometres in the game, whatever we have to run... for all these kind of things, for all the challenges, for all these kind of things, there are different things, honestly this is completely new to me. It’s really new to me.
“So, last night, we are fifth. They are relegated, OK, what does that mean now? Usually we play Sunday, we have to win and if not everything breaks down, and stuff like this. It’s the final, or whatever.
“So, that’s really different, but I want to do the right thing and didn’t decide yet finally because for that I need the information from the medical department. Then I will start thinking in more detail.
“You will see, and what you make of it, because it’s sentimental or whatever, that’s fine, because maybe it is influenced by both. But in the moment I don’t know.”
Southampton’s interim head coach Ruben Selles confirmed on Friday that the hosts will be without Che Adams, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Juan Larios and Mohammed Salisu, with Paul Onuachu a doubt due to a back problem.
Tino Livramento returned from long-term injury as a substitute in last weekend’s defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion and Selles said: “Tino will not play from the start due to his time restriction. He can play at least the same amount of minutes as he did against Brighton.”
Selles was also asked whether he has been impressed by Liverpool’s recent form and responded: “Well, I think I have been impressed by Liverpool over the last seven years with Jürgen Klopp.
“I think he has been one of the big references in Europe from the gegenpressing that he practised when he came to a team that was fighting to be in the top four to a team that is fighting for the titles, and won the Champions League and the Premier League after, I think, 30 years.
“I think the season didn’t start in the best way for them but he just made some changes in the way that he approaches the game and his team, with this mobility of [Trent] Alexander-Arnold into the middle and different variations, looks again a very, very solid Liverpool.
“So it’s not a surprise – they are a reference in Europe and Jürgen is a reference for all the coaches.”
Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 Southampton (May 21): McCarthy, Bree, Bednarek, Lyanco, Walker-Peters, Lavia, Ward-Prowse, Alcaraz, Elyounoussi, Walcott, Aribo.
Liverpool 1-1 Aston Villa (May 20): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Diaz, Gakpo, Salah.