Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits changes against Porto are possible with Manchester United in mind
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 05/03/18 3:32pm
Jurgen Klopp says he could make changes to Liverpool's starting line-up against Porto, but denies he is rotating his squad in order to keep players fresh to face Manchester United.
The Reds hold a 5-0 first-leg lead over Porto ahead of their Champions League last-16 second-leg clash at Anfield on Tuesday, and Klopp could be forgiven for having one eye on Saturday's trip to Old Trafford, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
After beating Newcastle 2-0 on Saturday to move back up to second in the Premier League table, Klopp insisted he had not thought about resting players against Porto, but appeared to backtrack on those comments in his pre-match press conference on Monday.
When asked if he would look to rest top scorer Mohamed Salah against the Portuguese outfit, Klopp said: "I haven't made a decision so far.
"We are in a moment in the league where we all have to deliver, play constantly - stuff like that.
"You don't rotate to avoid something. You only use the players which are in the best shape and if it is a different line-up to Saturday, I don't know.
"If it is a different line-up then it is only because we want to win the game, and no other reason.
"That is what I meant when I said we will not rest players. We will maybe make one, two, three changes but only to win the game."
Klopp insists the emphatic first-leg victory in Porto was not a fair reflection of the quality between the two teams.
"We were very effective that night, and strong - maybe surprisingly strong. Porto is a fantastic football team and Portuguese football is really strong," Klopp added.
"It was 5-0, that is how it is, but we scored from each chance we had, pretty much, and Porto didn't. It doesn't say anything about the level between the different leagues."
Porto are currently five points clear of rivals Benfica at the top of the Primeira Liga and Sergio Conceicao's side have crucial games against Pacos Ferreira and Boavista on the horizon.
However, Klopp expects the Portuguese league leaders to field a strong side against the Reds despite their first-leg disadvantage.
When asked if he was expecting the visitors to field a 'B' team at Anfield, Klopp said: "I know that Porto has a few injuries.
"[Alex] Telles is injured, Soares is injured, [Moussa] Marega from the last game? But [Vincent] Aboubakar is back and no I don't expect a B team.
"I expect a strong line, I expect that they will want to show a real reaction. They will want to hurt us."