Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to rest first-team players for the League Cup clash against second tier Derby County, he said on Monday.
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 round.
“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 percent fit players,” Klopp told reporters.
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.”