Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that the "door is miles open" for his fringe Players to break into the starting line-up with only a handful of "spots safe" following their dismal defeat to Manchester City on Saturday. The match at the Etihad was seen as a chance for Klopp's side to put their woeful season behind them and embark on a charge towards the top four.
They made a promising start to the match when Mohamed Salah fired in the opening goal of the match, but that lead lasted just 10 minutes as City soon grabbed a foothold in the match. Kevin De Bruyne's goal just after the restart appeared to knock the stuffing out of Liverpool with City dominating the second half with Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish rounding things off for the hosts.
The result has left them eight points adrift of the Champions League places with just 11 games remaining. One of their games in hand to those above them comes this evening against Chelsea, who themselves are also woefully underperforming this season.
Graham Potter was sacked on Sunday following Chelsea's 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa with both the Blues and Liverpool in desperate need of a win. And Klopp appears ready to make several changes to his starting line-up to try and shake things up in warning to some of his Players who have suffered a worrying dip in form.
When asked whether it feels weird going into a match between Liverpool and Chelsea with the clubs sitting eighth and 11th in the table respectively, Klopp told Sky Sports: "Yes it is, but it's the reality as well. We both deserve where we are. We have opportunities to change and we have to change and we cannot just close our eyes and say 'the same again and again'.
"We have to change and now the door is miles open for everybody to get into the team because there's only two or three who have their spot safe. The boys know, that's one thing I told them. We have to fight through this, that's the only way.
"You cannot play a little bit of here and there, or play with a backheel five times in a row and hoping something will happen. You have to really open your eyes, put everything straight and go. That's what we will do."
Klopp doesn't want to see a repeat of the performance from his side at the Etihad and he fully expects a response from his squad this evening. "The Players feel very responsible for everything, so there's not one player in the dressing room who doesn't care," he added.
"I said what I said, maybe I forgot Diogo [Jota] because he played an absolutely OK game as long as his legs were there after the long injury he had. But we were underperforming in almost every other position and that doesn't help.
"We cannot play with four-and-a-half OK performances. None of the performances were great and you cannot play like that against City. You cannot play like that in the Premier League. The next opponent requires everything we have to offer and that's what we prepare for."