The Liverpool manager took to his pre-match press conference to reveal that both James Milner and Stefan Bajcetic could be available to start against Julen Lopetegui’s side after returning to full team training.
Klopp told the media: “Millie [James Milner] and Stefan trained. Millie was on the bench and Stefan is now available again.”
There is no doubt that the return of Bajcetic and Milner is good news for Klopp as he navigates through the congested fixture list with a squad which has been considerably weakened by numerous injuries throughout the season so far.
Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Virgil van Dijk, Arthur Melo, Roberto Firmino and Darwin Nunez all remain unavailable for selection, with most of those ruled out until next month or beyond with long-term issues, which has contributed to the Liverpool manager’s inability to rotate and rest players when needed.
The Reds are currently ninth in the Premier League and have already been knocked out of the Carabao Cup, so the importance of having both Milner and Bajcetic back for tonight’s clash ahead of the visit of Chelsea on Saturday will give Klopp more scope to bring in some fresh legs and rest those who need it.
Milner is the most experienced player in the Liverpool squad, and although he is now 37 years old, he has been a solid and reliable performer for Klopp over his impressive career at Anfield. Therefore, his possible inclusion tonight could be important for the team and give them another leader in the absence of Van Dijk, alongside the potential of captain Jordan Henderson being rested.
Bajcetic is at the other end of the spectrum compared to Milner, as the 18-year-old can offer a youthful fresh perspective and has put in some impressive displays since being promoted from the academy to the first-team this season.
Combining the youngster’s keen intent to impress Klopp with Milner’s leadership in the middle of the park could inspire the confidence boost that Liverpool need in order to progress in the FA Cup.
With that in mind, it seems be a no-brainer for the Reds boss to give a starting opportunity to both returning players at Molineux, as the timing couldn’t be more perfect for a rejuvenation and a chance for Klopp to rotate his Premier League first-teamers who will be needed against Chelsea later this week.