‘NO NEED FOR IT’ – Jurgen Klopp drops Liverpool line-up hint as injuries mount for Arsenal tie

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed he will name a strong side for the Reds FA Cup third round trip to Arsenal on Sunday.

The Reds, who will be without 10 first team players at the Emirates, return to action in the capital for the first time since their 4-2 victory over Newcastle United on New Year’s Day.

However, after facing the Gunners, they then host Fulham in the first leg of the League Cup semi-finals on Wednesday 10 January before the Premier League’s winter break.

This season marks the first with a winter break since the 2019/20, following the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the mid-season 2022 World Cup in Qatar. That year, Klopp named a youthful Liverpool side to face Everton in the FA Cup third round as Curtis Jones’ long-range strike earned a 1-0 win.

Then needing a replay to get past League One side Shrewsbury Town, the German named a much-changed side for the original tie, before Under-23s manager Neil Critchley led a squad of Academy players to victory in the replay which fell during the winter break.

But Klopp has suggested that history won’t repeat itself this season and that he intends to name strong side against the Gunners.

“We love it (the FA Cup) as well,” he told reporters.

“All the players in our squad, the boys with us in the same dressing room, are ready for games. That’s how it is. There is no doubt about it.

“Four years ago we played Everton when Curtis (Jones) fired that ball in the far corner. It was one of the best nights of our lives. Everton, derby, a very young team and we won this game somehow. It was great.

“Can you go to Arsenal and play a team with boys in a situation that Arsenal are in and will probably go all in? Of course not. We are Liverpool, we can’t go there like that. There is no need for it.

“Yes, three days after that there is another game. We came out of a period where we played five games in 13 days and nobody asked us how did that feel. We just have to go through and we have to win. ‘That was not intense enough’. That is how the world is.

“Now we have two games in three days and that sounds like the world will end. Where is the problem? That is our life and the life of the boys. We have to make sure we get through.

“But I cannot rest a player after six days on Sunday for the Wednesday, and definitely not on the Sunday and Wednesday for a Premier League game on the 21st.

“It’s 16 days, I cannot rest a player for that. It makes no sense. And rhythm is an important thing. For Arsenal, we will go all in and see.”

Meanwhile, Klopp also took a cheeky swipe at potential critics of his side when reflecting on the departure of Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo to mid-season international tournaments.

The pair are set to be away with Egypt and Japan for at least a month as they compete in the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup respectively.

And Klopp made light of scrutiny that both Endo and Alexis Mac Allister faced earlier in the season, before reiterating his faith in his side’s ability to cope without Salah.

“With Wataru, five or six weeks ago you probably would have said, ‘He’s gone – who cares?’” he conceded. “But now you see the real quality of the boy and now he’s gone, it’s not great because he really helped us a lot.

“But now Macca (Mac Allister) is back. And all these things start again. ‘ Yeah, but he’s not a proper six’. All these things. Oh god.

“And then Mo is not there, yes, but he wasn’t there for the West Ham game and it was one of the best games we’ve played.

“West Ham is in a sensational moment. They win at home against everybody and get results everywhere. It didn’t look like that that night because we were exceptional.

“So let’s have a look. There are no guarantees. Does anybody expect we have a second Mo Salah outside? He can’t be up to speed with the same goalscoring record. That’s not possible.

“But we will find a way to play football. How successful it will be, the next game will show.”



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