Neil Humphreys: Reds cannot lose, even if they lose the Salzburg match
English Premier League must be the priority, so Europe just a bonus
Juergen Klopp is a liar. He's a well-meaning liar, but an incorrigible teller of tall tales nonetheless.
Liverpool's endless rotations are not about the festive fixture pile-up, the League Cup, the Mickey Mouse Club World Cup or even the Champions League.
They are about decades of hurt.
They are about that elusive Holy Grail, the shiny, silver pot that has been both omnipresent and unattainable for 30 long, miserable years.
Every rotation, selection, tactical tweak, benching and resting are all in service of getting King Kong off the backs of anyone in a red jersey. Winning the English Premier League isn't everything. It is the only thing. All other competitions are secondary.
So Salzburg represents a free hit. Liverpool cannot lose, even if they lose in Austria.
Going out in the group stages of the Champions League - even as the trophy holders - wouldn't be the cataclysmic event it might have been a year ago.
For the third season in a row, the Reds are seeking to secure qualification in their final match of the group stages, requiring at least a point against Salzburg.
But circumstances have changed. This time last year, Klopp was close to earning unwanted membership to the "winless wonders" club, where Mauricio Pochettino was the hapless president until Tottenham sacked him.
Klopp had won hearts and minds everywhere, but nothing silver.
Naturally, the Champions League win changed everything. A sixth crown bought prestige, credibility and enough time to focus on what really matters. It also bought a priceless swagger.
Klopp's dandies were no longer attractive chokers, all style and no substance, but triumphant campaigners on the continent.
Their unshakeable confidence now is an obvious knock-on effect of their European escapades.
So it seems faintly ludicrous to suggest forfeiting the trophy that rubberstamped Klopp's fledgling dynasty, which is why no one is suggesting such nonsense.
Prioritising the EPL and giving up on the Champions League are two different things. If anything, the obvious realignment of the club's ambitions could be viewed as liberating.
The Reds face Austrian opponents that are yet to defeat an English Premier League side and can utilise a squad with smoother rotations than helicopter blades.
There's nothing to fear except the fear of fouling up in the EPL again and that's a bed-wetting nightmare for another day (and one that could arguably be postponed until at least Boxing Day, when Liverpool take on Leicester City).
In the meantime, Klopp will fixate on those f-words: form, fitness and fatigue. He can't stop chopping and changing.
But his rotations are taking on surreal, dreamy qualities with a number of unfamiliar characters popping up to secure one happy ending after another.
Like unicorns in a fairy-tale, the improbable pair of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri arrived from nowhere to take care of the Merseyside Derby. Then the Invisible Man, occasionally known as Naby Keita, spooked Bournemouth, with able assistance from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Everything Klopp touches turns to goals, which isn't a lucky punter playing a game of chance, but a methodical manager conducting quick training sessions with small groups of rotating players, every day, to keep them fresh.
Before Everton and Bournemouth, he drilled the incoming replacements to ensure minimal disruption on game day. He'll do the same for Salzburg.
Whether Keita gets a second start or Oxlade-Chamberlain keeps his spot or Klopp brings back his preferred front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, there will be few continuity errors.
Minor defensive issues obviou sly persist. Liverpool celebrated a rare clean sheet against Bournemouth as if it were a minor trophy.
Dejan Lovren picked up a slight knock and Joel Matip is still out, which may provide Joe Gomez with an opportunity to assert his centre-back claims, albeit against a side that scored three times at Anfield.
Indeed Salzburg knocked in 16 goals in their five group games and must go for broke to have any realistic chance of progressing, but the Reds won't be unduly perturbed.
A subtle transition is taking place between the two heavyweights in English football.
Manchester City are tiptoeing towards a Champions League obsession, as Pep Guardiola's men slowly edge away from the whiff of an erratic EPL campaign.
While the Reds adjust their tunnel vision to see only the soothing, silver balm that promises to end 30 years of suffering.
Unlike City, of course, Liverpool can conceivably maintain trophy charges on several fronts. The Reds might as well revel in their Champions League emancipation, knowing that greater pressure will come from elsewhere.
A loss in Salzburg would be unfortunate, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.
"Minor defensive issues obviously persist. Liverpool celebrated a rare clean sheet against Bournemouth as if it were a minor trophy." - Neil Humphreys