The Reds field a heavily rotated team against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, including first-team debuts for Rafa Camacho and Curtis Jones.
“Adam is actually in an outstanding shape. In training it was close, do we start him or not,” he said.
“Adam is a player who always wants to, he’d play four games a day if he could. He’s in the best moment since I know him.”
However, Lallana failed to make the match-day squad despite being almost certain to start, with several Liverpool supporters on social media bewildered as to his exclusion.
David Lynch, of the Standard, confirmed ahead of the game that the 30-year-old is missing due to a “minor issue”, despite Klopp playing up the midfielder’s fitness.
Adam Lallana absent with a 'minor issue' – more a case of Klopp not wanting to risk him than him being unavailable to play.
— David Lynch (@LynchStandard) January 7, 2019
Lynch adds that Lallana is in fact available to play, but Klopp has erred on the side of caution by leaving him out.
“I had to make these changes. A few players were really ill and then in the last session yesterday we lost Adam Lallana with a minor thing, but it’s enough not [to be able] to play – and Hendo had something from the Man City game,” he said.
“We had to make a few changes already, it was clear. Virg cannot play; he is at home and hopefully it is nothing, but he has played all the games so far, so we had to try to find a solution for that – and we found it, hopefully, with Fabinho.
“For all the rest, a few guys I want to see and we are able to do that, but of course we have to be sensitive with our situation. We came through a very intense period quite OK. The next intense period is waiting.
“I know people want to win every game and see the same players week in, week out, but somebody has to make the decisions and in that case, I am the man for [doing] that.”