The Liverpool fans are feeling confident in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their second-leg Champions League clash against FC Porto at Anfield this evening.
The resident Kopites propping up our bar have absolutely no doubt that their side will progress into the quarter-final of the Champions League this evening, and who can blame them? Jurgen Klopp’s side were in scintillating form in the first-leg three weeks ago as they sliced their opponent’s defence apart and returned to English soil with a 5-0 lead over the Portuguese giants. It would certainly take one of the greatest footballing miracles of all time for Porto to turn the tie on its head, so Klopp should take the opportunity to rotate his squad tonight in order to preserve the fitness of a handful of key players.
Although the Liverpool supporters would hardly be overjoyed by his inclusion, it would be wise of Klopp to hand Alberto Moreno (valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt) a rare starting berth this evening. Moreno was a first-team regular under Klopp for much of the early season, but he has fallen firmly behind Andrew Robertson in the pecking order since he obtained an ankle injury at the end of November.
The Spanish full-back has been back in contention for a first-team call-up since the end of January, but he has been overlooked by Klopp due to Robertson’s consistently solid performances at left-back. However, it makes logical sense for Klopp to start Moreno this evening to help him return to full match fitness whilst allowing Robertson some valuable time to rest his legs ahead of a crucial three months for Liverpool FC.
At this stage in the season it is crucial that managers rotate their players at the right moments to ensure the squad avoids burning out before the season reaches its conclusion. Klopp must be pragmatic and hold that notion at the forefront of his mind when he selects his starting eleven this evening, otherwise he will be forced to pay a huge price for failing to rotate his squad during the business end of the season.