Klopp’s Verdict On Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal
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Liverpool’s superb record in the Champions League this season means that they are in a position to rest their key stars for other crunch clashes in the Premier League such as the Merseyside derby against Everton next week. And with the club having qualified top of their group, boss Jurgen Klopp could hand debuts to several young players at Anfield on Wednesday evening.
Having scored 13 goals and won all four of their games in the Champions League – alongside the poor results of their group rivals – Liverpool have already qualified for the knockout rounds of the tournament with a perfect record.
A couple of 3-2 victories alongside a 5-1 away mauling of second-placed Porto has made Klopp’s men the team to beat in Europe this season.
With qualification already secured, there is much less demand to achieve a win at home to Porto on Wednesday.
With key battles around the corner – such as a home game against Southampton at the weekend before travelling across Stanley Park to face local rivals Everton in midweek – Klopp will be mindful of injuries to his admittedly small squad.
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And with that in mind, a plethora of young players could make their Champions League debuts at Anfield on Wednesday evening.
One such man is Tyler Morton, who made an appearance in the 4-0 thumping of Arsenal on Saturday evening.
The midfielder, who has just turned 19, received an extremely warm welcome in front of a capacity crowd as he made his Premier League debut for his boyhood club.
And after impressing in a Carabao Cup cameo against Norwich City back in September, the midfielder could give one of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago some much-needed recovery time.
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Conor Bradley also featured in the Norwich fixture, and he may also make his continental debut in place of Kostas Tsimikas or Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Owen Beck featured at Preston North End in the round following the Norwich victory alongside Harvey Blair and Elijah Dixon-Bonner.
And the trio again will hope to feature in some capacity once more here, with Blair possibly in contention to play out wide over either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah.
Dixon-Bonner meanwhile has scored three goals in nine U23 matches this season, with the 20-year-old starting to exert his brilliance in the youth leagues.
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And there could be a more regular route into the first-team should he excel against Porto.
Elsewhere in midfield, James Balagizi could get minutes after being named on the bench for the wins over Norwich and Preston.
Having joined Liverpool for a fee of just £9,000 from Manchester City at the age of just 10, the Mancunian will be angling for a start against Sergio Conceicao’s men alongside James Norris.
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