Jurgen Klopp said he will not be making any decisions on Liverpool players' futures based solely on the Capital One Cup final loss to Manchester City on Sunday, but he did indicate he is preparing for changes in the summer.
Paul Joyce of the Express reported after Liverpool lost on penalties at Wembley to the Sky Blues—the match finished 1-1 in normal time—that Reds manager Klopp is planning a summer overhaul of his squad.
What will be the result at Anfield on Wednesday?
Ahead of another clash against City on Wednesday—this time in the Premier League at Anfield—Klopp revealed he was indeed preparing for the summer, although Sunday's defeat would have little bearing on how he decided to proceed, per the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce:
"We have to think about a lot of things (for the summer). We work the whole day. We have to plan for the future," said Klopp.
"I can't make a final judgement on players just because it was a final. I can't say 'I can trust him, I can't trust him.'"
The German manager also revealed that Liverpool were considering a new contract for full-back Jon Flanagan, whose current deal expires at the end of the season, per Pearce:
Klopp on Flanagan contract: "Of course we are thinking about it. Best news is that Flanno is back. After long time you have to be careful."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) March 1, 2016
And the Belgian did nothing to help his cause when he let in a soft opener for City on Sunday, per the Times' Henry Winter:
Shocking goalkeeping from Mignolet. Aguero clever pass to overlapping Fernandinho, strong shot but Mignolet let it through. 1-0 #mcfc.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) February 28, 2016
Klopp admitted on Tuesday that Mignolet had indeed been at fault for Fernandinho's goal, per the Times' Tony Barrett:
Klopp on Mignolet: "I would lie if I said the goal in the final was unstoppable but Simon knows this too."— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) March 1, 2016
Wednesday's clash will be the first time Raheem Sterling has returned to Anfield since his acrimonious £49 million move from Liverpool to City last summer, and Sky Blues boss Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that he will start the match, per the club's official website.
The 21-year-old Englishman is unlikely to receive a warm welcome back on Merseyside, and he will hope to put in a better performance than his poor showing in Sunday's final, per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones:
So soon after an intense and lengthy Wembley clash there is little doubt that a number of players from each side could be struggling to make the Anfield fixture.
ESPN FC's Ben Dinnery relayed Klopp's update as to the latest availability of his squad:
Klopp is yet to make a decision on Mamadou Sakho. Lucas had muscle problems taking his penalty. Sturridge struggling with cramp. #LFC— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) March 1, 2016
Liverpool will undoubtedly be eager to get their revenge on City for the Sunday defeat, and they could put a huge dent in the Sky Blues' title hopes if they claim all three points.
Having beaten City 4-1 in the reverse fixture back in November, Klopp and his side know they have the quality to claim a morale-boosting victory.