LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp insists Tuesday night’s EFL Cup quarter-final against Leeds United is no time to take risks with his selection despite injuries beginning to mount.
Playmaker Philippe Coutinho is absent with suspected ankle ligament damage, fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino is nursing a calf problem from Saturday’s victory over Sunderland while Daniel Sturridge is not yet training with the team after a similar problem forced him to sit out the weekend.
Midfielder Adam Lallana’s groin injury rules him out while Klopp is also missing striker Danny Ings, who is sidelined for the season with a knee ligament injury.
The Reds boss made 11 changes in the last round against Tottenham but the only change he would confirm he would be making was goalkeeper Simon Mignolet coming in for Loris Karius.
Coutinho’s absence - the length of which is still to be determined - is a blow but there was no guarantee he would have featured against Leeds anyway,
“The best thing would be for him not to be out, but it is not really likely,” Klopp said.
“We have to wait for the scan and then we will know.
“When you are in the rhythm it is different but we are not in this rhythm.
“You need to listen to the players and figure out if they are ready or not.
“It is not allowed to take any risks.
“It is about having a line-up which can stand the intensity of the game because Leeds are in a really good moment.
“They are a football-playing side and they will force us into a lot of things so we need to work hard in these games so the players need to be fit for this.
“We don’t want to rest somebody who doesn’t need a rest. It is possible we make a few changes; it is possible we will play nearly the same team.
“For sure, if nothing happens, Simon (Mignolet) will play.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lucas Leiva, Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno could line up in Klopp’s back four while Kevin Stewart, Ovie Ejaria and Marko Grujic are all options for the Reds boss in midfield.
Divock Origi is likely to lead the Liverpool front line while Ben Woodburn could also feature.