Jamie Carragher has admitted he was not expecting Jurgen Klopp to drop Mohamed Salah after the Liverpool boss made sweeping changes for their clash with Chelsea. The German brutally dropped Salah from his starting lineup for the first time this season as part of six changes from their defeat to Manchester City, and Carragher addressed the reasoning behind Klopp's bold call.
The Reds succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday with Salah the only goalscorer for the Reds after opening the scoring. Despite that, the Egyptian started on the bench for the Merseyside side as they took on his former team at Stamford Bridge.
Full-backs Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson also dropped out, with Joel Matip, Roberto Firmino, Curtis Jones and Darwin Nunez all starting as part of huge changes from Klopp for the clash. The German warned that he would be making adjustments after their defeat and Carragher believes the City defeat has had a part to play in his decisions.
When asked if he was expecting such changes, Carragher said on Sky Sports: "No, it’s more than you do expect and what Jurgen Klopp’s done since he came in is there’s certain Players who just play every game, and those Players, some of them aren’t playing tonight.
"You look at the back four, Virgil van Dijk, that’s down to illness we’re told but Trent Alexander-Arnold... you’re always expecting to be on that teamsheet. Mo Salah being another one, Andy Robertson being another one.
"He hasn’t just changed the team, he’s changed mainstays really who are there week-in week-out - not just this season but for years gone by. Is that to do with the performance against Manchester City? Is it to do with the fact that Liverpool have three tough games in a week?
"It’s a bit of both. There’s no doubt that what happened at the Etihad on Saturday is certainly in the back of his mind and he had to make changes on the back of that performance.
Liverpool have not won in four games away from home and the Premier League giants are struggling down in eighth place in the league. That has increased the pressure on Klopp's side to get a result, and his changes have been questioned at a time when his side desperately needed three points.
But the 55-year-old insisted he needed to refresh his squad and played down suggestions that he was sending a message to his Players, despite declaring that "only three Players are safe" following the result on Sunday.
"He [Van Dijk] is unavailable. And all the rest, some get a rest, some need rest, and a lot of Players get an opportunity to show up tonight," he told Sky Sports. "So that's it. We needed fresh legs.
"It was clear we needed fresh minds as well. So, and I said before, it didn't work out that well last week, so that's a moment where you have to make changes, obviously."