Jurgen Klopp provides explanation for Salah & Robertson absences from starting XI vs Everton

Mo Salah

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has provided an insight into his decision to omit both Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson from his Merseyside derby starting line-up.

Liverpool back in action

Klopp’s Premier League table-toppers got their campaign back underway this evening, with a trip to city rivals Everton.

The Reds of course headed into proceedings with a mammoth advantage atop the English top-flight, amid a record-breaking season to this point.

Despite 2nd-placed Manchester City’s drubbing of Arsenal on Wednesday night, Liverpool maintained a 22-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s men before today.

As such, the European champions were aware that a derby win would see them move to within a solitary victory of the club’s first league title in 30 years.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates scoring his teams second goal with team mate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on November 30, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Klopp on Liverpool omissions

As such, it came as something of a surprise when, upon Liverpool’s starting XI being announced, a pair of the club’s key performers were absent.

The players in question were Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson, with Takumi Minamino and James Milner having instead taken their place in the Reds’ side to take on Everton.

Jurgen Klopp, though, has since moved to provide an explanation for his decision to leave such an integral pair of his side’s stars out from the off at Goodison.

Speaking in a pre-match interview, the Liverpool boss confirmed that both Salah and Robertson were struggling with fitness issues earlier in the week, with the latter set to return to the club’s matchday squad when the champions-in-waiting take on Crystal Palace on Wednesday night:

‘There are different reasons for the line-up.’

‘It’s a really special time and in this time, after four weeks’ pre-season and preparation, we cannot ignore that we play again on Wednesday. I just can’t. It’s not the last game of the season, so I have to think a little bit about it.’

‘Some players couldn’t train in the last week – they trained, but not with the team – like Mo and Robbo, but yesterday they were in training and both looked really good. That’s why Mo is in the squad, Robbo not yet but on Wednesday [he will be] again.’

‘For Robbo, it was better to have a proper session today and then be in for Wednesday, and for Mo it is the right thing to do it like this.’

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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