Jurgen Klopp has defended his rotation policy after making changes for Liverpool's back-to-back home draws in the Premier League this month.
The Reds were held by Merseyside rivals Everton last weekend and laboured to a goalless draw when West Brom visited Anfield on Wednesday.
Having beaten Spartak Moscow 7-0 in the Champions League, Klopp rested the hat-trick hero from that game against the Toffees, as Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho joined compatriot Roberto Firmino – who also scored against the Russians – on the bench.
They started against the Baggies, but Klopp felt he was justified in affording his leading talents a rest from time to time.
"We have to make sure we have as fit as possible players for the specific game," the Liverpool boss said ahead of Sunday's trip to Bournemouth.
"We thought and we still think the squad gives us that opportunity. I can understand after two draws at home there is criticism – but they were two completely different games. Against Everton we were unlucky and against West Brom it was not a good game.
"Even the players I rotate still have two games per week, rather than three games per week.
"We had a very important game against Moscow and couldn't think about anything else. Other teams could rest players for that last round."
The German confirmed goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was set to come back into the starting line-up after a minor ankle problem.
He also offered an update on the other fitness concerns in his squad, adding: "Joel Matip is in a good way, running outside, but not available for the weekend. Same for Nathaniel Clyne. Daniel Sturridge we have to wait. Adam Lallana is back in full and normal training. If nothing changed since yesterday then he will be ready for the squad at least."
20 de marzo 2018
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