The Mercury

Klopp determined to only field his best

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LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp was unlikely to rest firstteam players for the League Cup clash against second tier Derby County, he said yesterday.

Premier League managers have often used the competitio­n as a platform to give young players experience but Klopp, who led his side to the League Cup final last season, is determined to go one better this time.

“In my opinion we only have strong line-ups. That’s good news. We will find a strong line-up. We won’t rest 100% fit players,” Klopp said.

Liverpool will welcome back midfielder Roberto Firmino, who missed Friday’s 2-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea.

“There’s no decisions yet as the session this afternoon will be important. Then (we’ll make our) decisions. But (Roberto) Firmino is back in training,” Klopp said.

“We go into a cup competitio­n with the aim to win it. We have a really competitiv­e game against a strong side.”

Klopp was also quick to praise defender Joel Matip, who has made an impressive start with Liverpool and put in a commanding performanc­e in Friday’s win at Stamford Bridge.

“If you lived and worked in Germany you would have known much more about him. It was pretty clear it would make sense to sign him,” the former Borussia Dortmund manager said.

“Tall players like him need physical fitness. He needed to create some physical strength. But there was never a doubt about his quality.

“It’s very important because of the situation in the centre-half position.”

In other matches tonight, Chelsea visit Leicester City and Nottingham Forest host Arsenal. – Reuters

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