Jurgen Klopp has explained his Liverpool line-up for Saturday’s Merseyside derby with Everton at Goodison Park.
The German coach has made four changes to the side that were humiliated 7-2 by Aston Villa in their last fixture on October 4.
Joe Gomez is on the bench with Joel Matip the replacement. Matip has yet to feature this season and in fact has played just two minutes of league football since limping out against Everton in June.
Jordan Henderson and Thiago replace Naby Keita and Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield.
Thiago makes his first start for the club after a period of isolation, while Sadio Mane is back from isolation and is in for Diogo Jota.
“They are all significant. That’s why we do it, not because we want to take players out from the last game. And after the international breaks, games are always a challenge.
“The line-up is the line-up because we think it is right for this game,” said Klopp on BT Sport.
“A week before Aston Villa, we played one of the best games I’ve ever seen as Liverpool manager [Arsenal] then we lost in the cup and then played a really bad game. We are ready [to go again].”
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How we line up for the derby 👊 #EVELIV
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 17, 2020
Klopp on Ancelotti
Klopp is well aware of the threat posed by a rejuvenated Everton.
“What I think about Carlo Ancelloti was never a secret. I couldn’t respect him more. He’s a wonderful human being,” Klopp told BBC Football Focus.
“When I heard he was going to sign for Everton I thought ‘Uhhh, the next proper challenger in line’.
“They did the perfect business in the summer. They found exactly the players that they needed to improve an already pretty good football team.
“Together, getting more used to what Carlo wants them to do makes them a pretty strong team.”
Liverpool XI: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Kelleher, Wijnaldum, Milner, Gomez, Jones, Minamino, Jota.