Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp explains absence of Thiago, Darwin Nunez as Liverpool boss rings changes for Forest clash

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained the absence of both Darwin Nunez and Thiago Alcantara for Saturday’s clash against Nottingham Forest, although he hopes to have the duo back for Ajax.

Nunez, the £85million signing from Benfica in the summer, netted the winning goal against West Ham on Wednesday night but had to come off shortly before the hour mark in that game.

Klopp revealed afterwards that the Uruguay star had ‘felt something’ and would need to be assessed by the club’s medical team. And Saturday’s game has clearly come too soon.

In addition to Nunez’s absence, Thiago is also struggling with an ear inflection and was only ruled out in the early hours of the morning.

Speaking to BT Sport before the game about the absence of two of his key men, Klopp said: “No [it’s not precautionary], I wish I could do that. For Darwin the game comes too early.

“He feels the intensity of the game [against West Ham] muscle-wise so there was no chance he could make today. Maybe tomorrow or Monday but not today.

“And Thiago got a bad ear infection overnight. The decision was made this morning at 5.15am so that’s how it is sometimes and that’s the reason for that.”

Klopp makes five changes to Liverpool side

In the absence of Nunez and Thiago, Klopp has made five changes from the team that beat the Hammers, with James Milner and Andy Robertson coming into the defence and Harvey Elliott, Fabinho and Curtis Jones all returning in midfield.

On his rotated side, Klopp added: “If everyone can play regularly it makes a massive difference to be honest then you can make changes at the right moment.

“For us it’s a problem that we have players coming back from injuries in a week like this. Three games in six days it’s just super intense.

“That’s where you have to consider all different things and that’s what we do. A problem is only a problem until you find a solution and we found a solution. I’m really happy with it and now let’s go from here this will be an intense game.

“I think it’s four or five changes from the last game. Fresh legs are in and that’s what we have to use, we have to be super intense in a fantastic atmosphere that I have experienced only once, but it was super good. So I’m really looking forward to it.”