The Liverpool boss has rung the changes for the trip to Tyneside, with the Reds facing a tricky test against the Magpies as they continue their quest for four trophies this season
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool simply had to make changes for their Saturday lunchtime trip to Newcastle amid their hectic quadruple bid.
The Reds boss opted to make five changes to his side from the midweek Champions League win over Villarreal, with Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold joining Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho and Ibrahima Konate in being rotated out of the side.
Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, James Milner, Naby Keita and Diogo Jota all come in for one of the tougher tests remaining in Liverpool’s season.
“We have to do it because of the intensity of the period we’re in,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“But when you make five changes and that is still the line-up then obviously you have a good squad. We could have changed more but it was about rhythm and stability as well, and everyone knowing exactly what the other one is doing.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Fridy, Klopp heaped praise on the form the Magpies.
“A lot. An incredible run, hey?” said Klopp when asked if he thought Eddie Howe’s side had improved.
“When our analysis meeting starts and you always see the last 10 or 12 results, it’s green when you win and red when you lost. There’s like green, green, green then red, red, red and then again a lot of green. So they’re obviously in a really good moment and Eddie plays a massive part in that.
“They signed one of our analysts, that’s for sure a big part as well, I have to say. Mark, if you see this – we’ll play a completely different team!
“They do really well, they signed a few good players. That will happen in the future 100 per cent with the power Newcastle is now, and of course they made a lot of change and all these kinds of things. But for this season they brought in smart moves, really brought good players in and just had stability. The players who were there before could grow into a really confident figure as well.”
“It’s really good to see what little changes can make and it will be a difficult one for us. It’s similar to a few years ago when we played [at St. James’ Park] between the [Champions League] semi-final, when Divock Origi [scored with a] header/shoulder.
“That was a tough game, that was one of these games where I didn’t understand, what exactly is Newcastle’s problem?! Why do they not like us so much?! The whole stadium was on fire and we have to expect that as well tomorrow.
“It will be tough, but we have to make sure we are ready for that. We have our targets as well, we know we need results and we try to perform as good as it’s more likely than not to get one.”