Liverpool boss Klopp explains surprise Andy Robertson omission

Will Ford

Jurgen Klopp has explained the three changes for Saturday’s clash with Watford at Anfield, including a shock start for James Milner ahead of Andy Robertson at left-back.

Liverpool boss Klopp was forced into making an alteration at centre-back with Joe Gomez coming in alongside Virgil van Dijk, with Dejan Lovren sidelined by a muscle injury.

But Klopp also surprised everyone by bringing in James Milner at left-back for Andy Robertson, while Xherdan Shaqiri started with Naby Keita dropping to the bench.

Asked about how the changes would effect his side, Klopp told the club’s website: “Hopefully in a positive way, that’s the plan.

“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. Joe starts, of course.

“We know Millie can play the position, he played that a couple of times and in a very important game against Barcelona, at least in a very important second half. So that’s all good.

“We don’t have to always play exactly the same way, we have to adapt, we have to do some things – the right things always but not always with exactly the same players.



“It was just, what do we need for today? We tried to prepare for this game, which, how you can imagine, was really difficult because Nigel [Pearson] was a figure in the Premier League and English football but not for a while. We played against Derby three-and-a-half years ago maybe so we tried to find out a little bit how they played then and we looked a little bit at Leicester. We had to do some research.

“Now we have the line-up of Watford and still don’t know which system they play; it could be a lot of things, it could be 4-4-2, could be three at the back, 4-5-1, 5-4-1, a lot of things are possible.

“So we had to focus on ourselves, that’s what we did and hopefully it was the right thing.”