Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that James Milner is likely to miss the FA Cup clash with Plymouth Argyle on Sunday (8 January), but refused to rule out an appearance by Daniel Sturridge. Philippe Coutinho and Joel Matip will also remain sidelined, while the German manager suggested both Loris Karius and Joe Gomez will start in a much-changed line-up.
Milner and Sturridge were both forced off during Liverpool's disappointing draw with Sunderland after picking up injuries. Klopp has suggested that the FA Cup tie with Plymouth will come too early for the versatile left-back, but the striker may still feature.
"[Milner is] better. We were lucky, we had no proper injuries after the game so that's good, but Milner had this little issue with his calf. We were not sure, because of the intensity or whatever, that it wasn't more, but I am pretty sure we will not take the risk with him for the weekend," Klopp said when asked about the Liverpool left-back, who was replaced by Alberto Moreno at half-time during the draw with Sunderland.
Questioned about Sturridge, Klopp added: "Daniel hasn't trained yet. Perhaps today [he will return to training], we'll see. It depends how he feels, that's how it is. It should be possible, but I'm not sure."
Klopp also provided a positive update on the recoveries of Coutinho and Matip, but both will need additional time before making a to return to action.
"[Coutinho is] in a very good way but not for the weekend, and [Matip is the] same," Klopp said.
Meanwhile, Klopp suggested he is ready to give a chance to fringe players to prove themselves in the cup outing. Karius will presumably replace Simon Mignolet between the sticks, while Joe Gomez could make his first starting appearance since September 2015.
Asked whether he will play Karius ahead of Mignolet, the boss confirmed: "[There is a] big chance. [He has] trained outstandingly well. It's good to see. It's difficult to speak about things like this in public, because you make all of these things big stories – that's a little bit of the problem.
"But, how we said before, we cannot ignore the pressure you make. That's how it is. We have to cope with it, we have to deal with it and that's why we made the change. I was sure Loris would benefit from this step back.
"Simon has done a really outstandingly good job for us since he has been playing again. Loris forces him to train at the highest level because we have two really good goalkeepers. So, it was good for him."
Speaking about Joe Gomez, the Liverpool boss added: "It may not be the biggest surprise to see Joe Gomez in the line-up on Sunday. It will be nice for all of us because he is a wonderful boy and we are really happy for him."
The boss further reiterated that he will make wholesale changes to the team who drew with Sunderland on Monday.
"It makes absolute sense [to rotate]," he said. "But it's then, of course, not because of the last game [but] maybe the next game. So, yes, I am pretty sure we will see a few fresh legs on the pitch.
"[If you] look at our squad, pretty much all of them who have not been involved that much in the last few games are pretty young. So when we want to rotate, it's logical [they could feature]."