Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this afternoon revealed why he opted to drop Andy Robertson and Naby Keita to the bench for his side’s meeting with Watford.
Liverpool march on
The European champions welcomed the Hornets to Anfield a short time ago, for a Premier League clash.
Liverpool of course headed into proceedings sitting pretty atop the English top-flight, aware that another victory would see them extend their advantage over 2nd-placed Leicester to a hefty 11 points.
The Reds entered the clash on the back of 7 straight league wins.
Watford, on the other hand, had managed just a solitary win all season before today, leaving the Hornets dead-bottom of the Premier League table.
As such, when all was said and done, it came as little surprise to see Liverpool emerge with all 3 points.
Despite the hosts having been some way below their scintillating best, and Watford having created plenty of chances, a brace from Mohamed Salah, in the end, proved the difference between the sides.
⚽ Mohamed Salah has scored more PL goals v Watford than any other opponent:
8️⃣ v Watford
7️⃣ v Bournemouth
6️⃣ v Arsenal
5️⃣ v Southampton pic.twitter.com/2y1pHtLQ2t
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 14, 2019
‘Being sensible from time to time’
Liverpool’s largely sub-par performance could be at least in some part attributed to a number of changes to the club’s starting XI this afternoon.
With both Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren injured, Joe Gomez came into the heart of the Merseyside giants’ backline.
Fabinho is also sidelined at present, with Jurgen Klopp, as a result, having opted for a midfield pairing of Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum.
This gave Xherdan Shaqiri a rare chance to impress, as part of a front-4.
Finally, Andy Robertson dropped to the bench, with James Milner having filled in at left-back.
As such, speaking shortly before kick-off, Liverpool boss Klopp was drawn on his team selection, with a particular emphasis on Andy Robertson and Naby Keita being left out from the off.
And the German went on to explain:
‘Rotation in a moment when a player maybe doesn’t need it is the best way to do it. So I’m not 100 per cent sure about Robbo, he looked good, but at the end it’s a question of being sensible from time to time – at least I try! So that was the reason for Robbo.’
‘Shaq came in for Naby; Naby played two games in a row after a long time not playing. He did really well but that was the reason for him.’
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 14, 2019
An otherwise positive 90 minutes for Liverpool this afternoon, though, was soured somewhat by another blow on the personnel front.
The player to have picked up the problem was Georginio Wijnaldum.
Just shy of the hour-mark, Dutch international Wijnaldum pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.
And, after being seen to by the hosts’ medical team, the 29-year-old was eventually forced to limp off.
— TheKop.com (@TheKop_com) December 14, 2019