Brendan Rodgers has revealed Daniel Agger is set to start Saturday’s game at Southampton, after a week of ‘outstanding’ training.
The Reds vice captain was withdrawn shortly after the hour mark of Sunday’s 4-3 win over Swansea, and Rodgers confirmed after the game the decision was tactical.
Now Rodgers has moved to explain his decision, and confirmed the Denmark captain will line up at St Mary’s after being left delighted with his reaction at the clubs Melwood training ground over the course of the week.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Rodgers said: “There has been a lot of spotlight, unfairly, on Daniel this week. What happened to Daniel was no different to what happened to any player.
“Just because it’s a defender, it maybe gets highlighted a bit more. But we made the change and we won the game. It’s no different to a winger coming off, or a striker or a midfield player.
“I don’t judge players on the status of where they are in the group – it’s what I think the game needs at a certain time. We made the change and Dan has taken it like the man he is.
“He has been outstanding in training this week and he will play. He will play on Saturday, no question about that.”
Liverpool have suffered back-to-back defeats to Southampton, with the most recent coming at Anfield in September.
Rodgers side also endured a miserable trip to the south coast last March, going down to a 3-1 defeat.
But the Reds boss insists it will be a very different side that takes to the pitch on Saturday evening, pointing towards the level of confidence currently running through his squad.
He added: “We have improved quite a lot. On that day we had injuries that meant we had to put different players into different positions that probably wouldn’t suit how we want to work normally.
“But it doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier a game – it’s going to be a really difficult game. St Mary’s has been a traditionally difficult place to go, and especially for Liverpool over a number of years.
“But we’ve got great belief and confidence at the moment. We know what we’re going into each game looking to achieve, and we’re going in with the ability and focus to get the results.”