And welcome to coverage of an utterly inconsequential match – at least in terms of final placings in Group D are concerned. Liverpool have already won the group with 12 points from five games, Midtjylland have one from five and the only thing to be determined today is whether Atalanta (8 points) or Ajax (7) make it into the round of 16 or are parachuted into the Europa League;s last 32 at the end of their meeting in Amsterdam.
But there are other things riding on the match, especially Jürgen Klopp’s selection, what it tells us about how he sees the champions’ trip to Fulham on Sunday and whether the 16 players he will use tonight can emerge unscathed by injury. He spoke about using Billy Koumetio, Jake Cain and Leighton Clarkson last night and the team is likely to resemble the ones that lost to Villa last December in the League Cup and the one that drew with Shrewsbury in the FA Cup.
“Our Champions League squad was already very young – we had four, five, six players involved in the squad during the whole campaign so far and yes, they will travel and then we will make decisions,” said Klopp.
“It’s the first time we don’t have to get a result in the last match of the group stage, the first time we are first in the table already. We have to consider the general situation, that’s clear, but we have to consider as well it’s the Champions League, we are Liverpool and we want to win the game. All these kind of things will lead in the end to a line-up.
“It’s clear for the boys what kind of football we want to play, how intense we want to be, how difficult to play we want to be for the opponent,” he added.
“So there are a lot of things I want to see, but that is pretty much what I want to see in all the games. This game is no different. This game is only one part different and that is we don’t have to win it, because as Liverpool you usually have to win all the games. But we still want to win it, which is the better thing to do. That’s what I want to see, that everybody can see we go there and want to win the football game.
“It will be difficult because Midtjylland is much better than the table shows. They grew in the competition, without getting points but it’s a strong group, so it was difficult for Midtjylland. But I’m sure they will give us a proper fight and we have to be ready for that.”
The team news is imminent.