Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions Manchester United could compromise the integrity of the Premier League during their fixture pile-up this week.
Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Thursday in a game hastily rearranged after last Sunday’s expected clash was postponed due to protesting supporters.
United now face three games in five days, with a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday followed by the visit of Leicester City on Tuesday.
With leaders Manchester City having lost to Chelsea on Saturday evening, there remains an outside chance United could still win the Premier League by winning their final five games.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though, has admitted some people may be upset by his enforced rotation in the coming days due to the heavy fixture workload – prompting speculation he may rest players for the clash against Leicester, who are fighting Liverpool for a top-four place, and go full-strength against the Reds.
But Klopp said: “I haven’t thought about that yet. We would have played against the strongest United team possible on the actual date, that’s what we expect. Nothing else.
“If United are doing it like this, we cannot change that.
“I think Man United only have good players. They have a really strong side available - midfield, wow, up front, all good players even though they are young.
“I expect a strong team against us and what they do in other games we have no influence over.
“Last Sunday we’d have played the strongest United side and that’s what we expect now (on Thursday).”
Liverpool moved to within six points of fourth-placed Leicester with a game in hand by beating Southampton 2-0 at Anfield on Saturday evening.
And of United’s anticipated rotation, Klopp said: “We have had to do that very often and people have never liked it. It’s always like this – we have cup competitions and games over games over games.
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“We rotate and people think we don’t respect the competition.
“I think everybody is 100% sure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer respects the Premier League 100%.
“But the situation is now like it is. I really think it’s crazy what we did with that.
“I know there were not proper solutions but I think there was a better solution, I’m pretty sure.
“United have three games in five days and a weekend off, so there would have been a window where we could have done something slightly different.
“I understand he doesn’t like that, definitely. We will see what we make of that.
“We have a tough programme ourselves because of that, because we play the last four games in a very short period of time.”