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Klopp warns against wholesale changes for Porto dead rubber

Jurgen Klopp has denied there will be wholesale changes to his Liverpool side for Wednesday's Cha...



Jurgen Klopp has denied there will be wholesale changes to his Liverpool side for Wednesday's Champions League game with Porto. 

The Premier League high-fliers are assured of top spot in Group B with two games to spare.

Ahead of the game at Anfield, Klopp insisted whatever team he puts out will be a strong one, capable of winning the game.

"We always respect the competition," said the Reds' boss, "But we have to think about ourselves and our schedule and the situation of our players first."

Klopp revealed that captain Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson are still not quite at 100 per cent fitness, and it's unlikely either will be risked against Porto.

He added, "Whatever line-up we show tomorrow night, it's only about winning the game, and winning this game, and winning the next, winning the next... and all these kind of things - that's what we are here for.

"We will see. We know that our opponent will be motivated on the highest level for two main reasons - one is we won there in a way which they didn't like for sure, and on the other hand if they win the game tomorrow night they have a final against Atletico in the last match they have in the group. So that's what they want - that's clear.

"[It] will be a difficult game for us, and I really hope that everybody at Anfield is absolutely at their best, because we only show up tomorrow night because we want to try and win the game. That's Champions League.

"You can never take these things for granted, and [I] hope nobody's doing that. We need to be ready as a whole... all together we need to be ready to put a proper fight out there."

Last season saw Liverpool deprived of Diogo Jota for three months after he picked up a knee injury late in a similar dead rubber with Midtylland.

But Klopp was unhappy with suggestions he could field an entirely different XI for Wednesday's game.

"It's really easy to sit where you sit, or where all the people who judge us in this moment to say 'leave him out, leave him out, leave him out'," the manager rasped.

"We leave them all out and then play with a team which is not a Champions League team. We don't have enough players for that, by the way."

Klopp added, "It's so easy to sit in your chair, and ask these kind of questions to be honest.

"We have to line up a team who has a chance to win the football game.

"Diogo's situation was very unlucky, and I hated it... But would I have done the decision again? That's the only question I have to answer. Yes [is the answer], because you need stability.

"We cannot play football games like here, with this line-up, and next game [a] line-up that has no chance to win a game, and then bring them back again.

"Players need rhythm, all these kind of things. I don't think it's fair that you bring up this old story that a player got injured - they all can get injured.

"Do I make the decision who I don't care if he gets injured with the line-up tomorrow night? No. I can't, and I will not.

"These things happen in football, and hopefully nothing happens tomorrow."

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Caoimhin Kelleher Champions League DIOGO JOTA Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Porto

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