Philippe Coutinho, Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp finally explains the reason he benched Coutinho for the Merseyside derby

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For Jurgen Klopp, he must feel at times that he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

Sometimes, you have to rest players and rotate your squad, but most fans would agree one game you don't do that in is a local derby.

The German decided to rest his Brazilian pair of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino against Everton in the Merseyside derby and despite dominating proceedings, Liverpool ended up with a disappointing 1-1 draw.

Klopp was bound to receive criticism for his team selection given the result, but in truth, Liverpool could have won the game easily had they taken their chances.

The Liverpool boss has made 59 changes for Premier League matches this season - 20 more than any other top-flight manager.

After both players started the mid-week victory over Spartak Moscow - with Coutinho playing the full 90 minutes - Klopp says he took advice from Liverpool’s medical and sports science staff before deciding to leave South American duo on the bench against Everton.

Asked if it would have been a risk to play them against the Blues, Klopp said: “It is one bit of information but that would sound like an excuse. I don’t need an excuse.

“I do not want to even deliver that. I make the decisions - you should know that after two years.

Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League

“I want to win the game 100%, but on the other side I work with human beings and I see them every day. I know if they have a sore throat, a knee problem or whatever. Then you have 11 others who for me are top quality and are ready to go.

“I am always advised. I have 500,000 pieces of information and in the end I have to make a decision. I can not write a book before each game.

“Roberto and Phil could have played. Nobody told me to leave them out. Emre (Can) and Gini (Wijnaldum) as well, but nobody missed them....."


Touche, Jurgen. Still, nobody can deny how influential Coutinho is on Klopp's side and their chances of beating Everton would have been significantly higher with him in the side.

Whether Coutinho appreciated being dropped by Klopp is a totally different question.

Roberto Firmino
Philippe Coutinho

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