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English Premiership

Klopp wary of League Cup changes

Jurgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool coach in 2015 © AFP/File / Paul Ellis

LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 28 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he has no plans to make wholesale changes for Tuesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final against second-tier Leeds United at Anfield.

Klopp’s men are second in the Premier League and in the last round the German boss made 11 changes for the win over Tottenham Hotspur in the last round of the EFL Cup.

Liverpool will definitely be without Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who is struggling with a calf problem sustained in Saturday’s 2-0 league win at home to Sunderland, while midfielder Adam Lallana will also miss the Leeds match because of a groin injury.

Daniel Sturridge has yet to return to training following a calf injury, while striker Danny Ings has already been ruled out for the season with knee ligament damage.

Nevertheless, the only change Klopp was prepared to announce Monday was that Simon Mignolet would replace first-choice number one Loris Karius in goal.

Just how long Coutinho will be sidelined remains uncertain and Klopp said Monday: “The best thing would be for him not to be out, but it is not really likely. We have to wait for the scan and then we will know.

“When you are in the rhythm it is different but we are not in this rhythm. You need to listen to the players and figure out if they are ready or not.”

Leeds, who rivalled Liverpool as one of England’s pre-eminent clubs in the early 1970s, are fifth in the Championship and pushing for promotion back to the Premier League.

“It is not allowed to take any risks. It is about having a line-up which can stand the intensity of the game because Leeds are in a really good moment,” said Klopp.

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“They are a football-playing side and they will force us into a lot of things so we need to work hard in these games so the players need to be fit for this.

“We don’t want to rest somebody who doesn’t need a rest. It is possible we make a few changes; it is possible we will play nearly the same team.

“For sure, if nothing happens, Simon (Mignolet) will play,” Klopp added.

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