Klopp defends Liverpool rotations


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp defended his rotation policy ahead of a crucial clash against relegation-battlers Newcastle United.

Klopp handed rare starts to six players in Liverpool's 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth last week, just days after their Europa League quarter-final second leg win over Borussia Dortmund and before the Merseyside derby against Everton. 

The German is expected to make several changes to the team that will face Newcastle on Saturday, with their Europa League semi-final first leg at Villarreal looming. 

However, despite the possible consequences it might have in the fight for survival, Klopp insists he only puts out a side with an eye on winning.

"I respect the competition 100 per cent. I only make a line up to win the game, not for resting players," he said.

"I swear we would have lost at Bournemouth with another team. I only made the changes for that game for winning - no other reason.

"We will find a team we think is able to beat Newcastle. It will be difficult. If they [other teams at bottom] are afraid of Newcastle then I can understand that because they are really good.

"We respect the competition. If other teams don't respect our situation then I can't change that."

Klopp added: "I never pick the team with an eye on the next game. We have only to think about who can play after the Everton game.

"We need them to be fit and fresh because of the physical strength of Newcastle. We saw that in their game against [Manchester] City. Newcastle were really impressive, hot and greedy. 

"They fight for the league - and we have to fight back."