Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down the omission of club captain Jordan Henderson from the Reds side that hammered Spartak Moscow 7-0 in the Champions League this week, but a recall is beckoning for the skipper in this weekend's Merseyside derby.
Henderson has played 12 of Liverpool's 15 Premier League games so far this season, playing 90 minutes against Brighton just four days before the Russians visited Anfield.
Klopp on Henderson: "Even a captain cannot play all the time. Jordan's in a good moment but I thought it made sense. I knew people would make a sh*t story of it."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) December 8, 2017
"Even a captain cannot play all the time. Jordan's in a good moment but I thought it made sense. I knew people would make a sh*t story of it," Klopp said as he faced the press on Friday.
"Being the skipper of Liverpool is the hardest job in world football because the man before you was Steven Gerrard," the German continued.
In Klopp's words, Henderson will 'play the next game, 100%', referring to Everton's visit to Anfield on Sunday. "He is in a good moment, in good shape. You need the players on the pitch to know 100 per cent what a derby is about. That makes sense, I would say."
3 - Sadio Mané could become the first player to score in three successive Premier League Merseyside derbies since Robbie Fowler in November 1996. Worship.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 8, 2017
On the subject of the occasion itself, Klopp commented, "I didn't have a lot of expectations, to be honest [watching the 2015 derby at Goodison Park a week before being hired by Liverpool], but it's a derby at its best and I like it.
"There's a lot of respect between the two clubs and I really like that, to be honest. In the game, yes there's still respect but try everything to win it, try everything, but around the games we live in one city and there's enough space obviously for supporters of both clubs.
"I know a lot of Everton supporters, you meet them all day around the club, and that's absolutely okay, I have no problem with that. But in the game, I want to see only us at our best."
Left-back Alberto Moreno has been ruled out of the game with an ankle injury.