LIVERPOOL — Jurgen Klopp says he will make “more than one” change to Liverpool’s starting XI for the trip to Burnley on New Year’s Day following the short turnaround from the Leicester City match, having not made sweeping alterations in a similar situation last season.
Liverpool will play at Turf Moor just 48 hours after they came from behind to beat Claude Puel’s Leicester at Anfield on Saturday. Nearly 12 months ago, Liverpool drew 2-2 at Sunderland less than 44 hours after a New Year’s Eve encounter with Manchester City, with Klopp making just a solitary change to his lineup in the northeast from the one that beat Pep Guardiola’s team.
“It was a strange game,” recalled Klopp at a news conference. “To be honest, the last game we played in the old year, City, was fantastic, very intense.
“I’m sure there were a few players on the bench who were not used but we played absolutely OK or more than OK in Sunderland. They had two penalties, oh my God, and that doesn’t help, to be honest.
“It was a strange football day for us. We were fresh enough [and] fit enough for that game, but it’s different. Sunderland that year and Burnley now is completely different.
“I don’t know exactly how many changes we will make [at Burnley], but I would say, for sure, more than one.”
In the eyes of the Premier League, the Saturday and New Year’s Day slots are seen as a traditional match rounds for the league, with matches only moved out of them for broadcast purposes.
Burnley, who sit seventh in the Premier League table, also have just 48 hours to prepare for the affair having drawn 0-0 at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
“For me, it’s the most strange situation, because it’s now the third time. Everybody is like: ‘Wow, how will you do that?’. But everybody is so excited to see how we will run into each other two days after we played already and nobody talks about it,” said Klopp of the congested New Year period. “I have no problem with that. We go there.
“The good news is that Burnley played [on Saturday] as well. I don’t think they got the point without running so they have the same thing to do and then that’s fair play. It’s how it is.
“It’s not the best thing to do, I think, but it’s absolutely OK. We will be ready because we have to be ready. That’s not a friendly game for us. It’s a very important game for us.”
Meanwhile, the Liverpool manager confirmed Simon Mignolet will return in goal after Loris Karius’ outing against Leicester. But Liverpool will need to check on the fitness of Mohamed Salah ahead of Burnley after the Egypt international was “limping” at the end of Saturday’s game.
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.