The newly-rebranded EFL Cup (formerly the Worthington Cup before it was the Carling Cup before it was the Capital One Cup) isn’t the most exciting of competitions, but the tension can get ramped up when you get an early round draw of two very good Premier League teams.
That’s what awaits Tottenham Hotspur next Tuesday when they head to Anfield to play Liverpool in the Fourth Round. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has already admitted that he plans to heavily rotate his side for the trip to Anfield in order to keep his players fresh for upcoming matches against Leicester City, Bayer Leverkusen, and Arsenal.
Klopp, who’s Liverpool side isn’t participating in Europe, has no such burden, but in a Thursday press conference stated that the Reds are almost fully healthy and that he will prioritize this weekend’s league tie against West Brom.
"Actually, in this moment, there's nothing really to moan about. We had a few kicks and things like this in the game and still felt after the game, of course.
"But nobody is ruled out at the moment and Gini [Wijnaldum] is on the way back so that's good. If nothing happens today or tomorrow then we have quite a big squad to make the choice.”
Klopp was then asked whether he planned to rest any key players against West Brom for the EFL Cup match against Tottenham:
"No, not at all. That would be a lack of respect to West Brom. How could I do this? I have no idea who is ready for Tuesday. I'm not interested in this moment, so I'm only thinking about West Brom."
With Spurs likely running out a team similar to the one that trounced Gillingham in the Third Round of the cup, this is probably good news. At full strength Liverpool should be considered contenders for the Premier League title, much like Tottenham. But Spurs are probably going to play the likes of Kevin Wimmer, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Michel Vorm, Harry Winks, GK N’Koudou, and Josh Onomah in this match, and it’s likely a team of reserves and youngsters would struggle against a full-strength Liverpool side.
Pochettino is clearly prioritizing the league and the Champions League himself over the Cup, but he’s also going to be taking a good hard look at what he considers the future of Tottenham Hotspur and see how they stack up against a good Liverpool team. Klopp’s suggestion that he himself might rotate is good for Spurs’ chances of making the EFL Cup quarterfinals.