Klopp 'respects' the FA Cup but the health of Liverpool stars comes first
London, January 3 (AFP) Jurgen Klopp insists he respects the FA Cup, but that won't stop the Liverpool coach from prioritizing the health of his fatigued players in Sunday's FA Cup clash against Everton.
Naby Keita became the latest addition to Liverpool's growing list of injuries when she had a groin problem before the 2-0 victory of the fugitive leaders over Sheffield United in the Premier League on Thursday.
With defenders Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne, midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho and forward Rhian Brewster, Klopp is alone with 12 players in the garden, in addition to the new signing Takumi Minamino and several youngsters. team members.
A Merseyside derby in the third round at Anfield would traditionally see the seven-time winners of the FA Cup, Liverpool, form a full-force team.
But regardless of the FA Cup's place in Liverpool's historical history, Klopp, who has not yet won the competition, hinted that he would be forced to rest several stars after a frantic holiday period that included six games in 16 days.
We respect them and respect the competition, we respect what people want us to achieve, that is a very important part, but I can't do things by the name of the opponent, Klopp told reporters on Friday.
People have already told me a couple of times that I wouldn't respect cup competitions, but that's not true.
But my first job is to respect the players, my absolutely number one job. I see them every day, every second, I see them all the time and I have to make a decision: is it allowed to bring them back or not?
Normally I am not emotional, I try to make decisions by situations and not by the opponent.
- Everton opportunity? -
Liverpool beat Everton 5-2 in the league at Anfield a month ago, but that was the final game of Marco Silva's reign.
Klopp expects a much more severe test this time, especially since Everton's new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is the only boss who beat Liverpool this season while the Italian was in charge of Napoli.
I heard a little of what Carlo said this morning and obviously they are on fire and we have to make sure we are ready for that, Klopp said.
We need the crowd because that is the only advantage we have: they are only two teams that play with each other, two teams from the same city.
Everton, who suffered his first loss under Ancelotti at the hands of Manchester City on Wednesday, has not defeated Liverpool at Anfield since 1999.
Ancelotti, winner of the FA Cup with Chelsea in 2010, urged his players on Friday to take a fantastic opportunity in the draw.
It's a fantastic challenge but also a fantastic opportunity, said Ancelotti.
We are going to play against the best team at the moment, they are world champions, so congratulations, but this is a fantastic challenge for us.
Ancelotti led Napoli to a 2-0 Champions League victory over Liverpool in September and scored a 1-1 draw at Anfield in November before he was fired.
When asked the secret to beat Klopp, the 60-year-old man shrugged and smiled. Score more goals, he said. (AFP) AH AH