Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he has "selection decisions to make" ahead of his side's trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday and hinted he is likely to rotate his options.
Klopp has called upon his players to show hunger and desire until the end of the season and proclaimed that "mentality can beat tired legs," as quoted by Jacob Murtagh of the Mirror.
Our starting position isn’t a masterclass but we are still in a good enough position to achieve something.
Now it’s Crystal Palace. We lost to them at home. We need to take points back.
We show them what we’ve done well, what we’ve done badly. Two tournaments left and we must be fully concentrated.
It was an extremely lively game v Man City. It was a demonstration of how mentality can beat tired legs.
Klopp said he wanted to see his players "angry," according to ITV.com:
Six points is not the world. In our situation I would like to say we take each point but we have to show it. From now on the work can be completely different if we want.
We need to stay angry—it is not that we are always looking for our game and which style [to play]. You need [to find] a way and then go.
Per Murtagh, the manager added: “I have some hard selection decisions to make. We haven’t had this before. We have to use this new quality to change and rest.”
Despite his rallying call, Klopp said he has no fixed ambition for a finish in the Premier League, as quoted by the club's official Twitter feed:
JK: "I don't think about the top four. We have a lot of points to get and we should start getting as many as we can." #LFC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2016
The German coach confirmed he will be without the services of Lucas Leiva, who suffered a thigh injury in the Capital One Cup final against Manchester City.
However, there was better news regarding the fitness of Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho, per the club's official Twitter feed:
Lucas is ruled out for between five and six weeks with a thigh injury, Klopp confirms. #LFC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2016
Klopp: Mamadou Sakho is back in training and Daniel Sturridge trained "completely normally" yesterday. #LFC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2016
Klopp further explained his thoughts and preparations for the game against Palace, as Liverpool shared footage of his comments on social media:
Snow in March? The boss can't quite believe it... https://t.co/vqZbogT86m— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2016
The manager was also asked his opinion on Jon Flanagan’s crunching tackle on Raheem Sterling as the Reds beat City 3-0 at Anfield on Wednesday after their League Cup disappointment.
“It was hard but fair—that’s cool. I love this,” replied Klopp, per Murtagh.
Liverpool sit fifth in the Premier League form guide, as their opponents languish as one of the country's worst performing sides.
Palace have not won a league match in 2016 yet, per WhoScored.com, and are primed for the taking by Klopp's men.
A win could see the Reds climb to seventh in the English standings, but only 11 wins from 27 league games underpins the issues at Liverpool.
Klopp's side will need to go on a solid run if they are to close the six-point gap between themselves and the top four, but time is running out for the Anfield giants.