Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called questions about rotating his squad as a “waste of time” after he made six changes for the goalless draw at Chelsea on Tuesday.
Following Liverpool’s 4-1 thrashing at Manchester City last Saturday, Klopp dropped Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson to the bench for the midweek Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.
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When asked whether the changes were influenced by the defeat at City or player workload, Klopp told his Friday news conference: “We had a game against City, which is an influence physically and performance-wise. It is both.
“How can you expect I give you an answer and say ‘two were because of that and four were because of that.’ That is a real waste of time.”
Liverpool host Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday but find themselves in eighth place in the table and 10 points outside the Champions League places.
The result at Stamford Bridge was a fourth straight game in all competitions without a victory for Klopp’s side, who have endured a woefully inconsistent season.
Although they have won only one of their last eight games away from home, Liverpool have an excellent record at home in the league this season with Leeds United the only team to beat them.
“This [Chelsea] game has gone and now we have another chance. We will give it a proper try and we will need Anfield,” Klopp added.
“We’re at home and we still have to show a reaction and an improvement.”
Liverpool lost 3-2 away to Arsenal in their first meeting this season in October, but have won their last six home league clashes with the London club, scoring at least three goals on each occasion.
Klopp also heaped praise on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, saying he had done a “pretty impressive” job as they hold an eight-point lead at the top of the table, having played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s side.
“I know people ask for time for managers but I really think Mikel deserved each minute he got there when things were not going well because they are there [at the top] now,” Klopp said.
“The team is very well set up, good transfers on top of that but a really stable team. That’s what they’re using now.”
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, winger Luis Diaz and midfielder Thiago all returned to training, but Sunday’s game might come too soon for Diaz, whom Klopp expects to be fully fit for next Monday’s trip to Leeds.
Information from Reuters was included in this report.