English Premiership

Klopp hopes reserves can avoid FA Cup slip-up

2017-01-07 10:33
Jurgen Klopp (Gallo Images)

Liverpool - Jurgen Klopp cited fixture congestion as the chief reason for fielding an almost unrecognisable Liverpool line-up in the third round of the FA Cup at Exeter last season.

A year on, the 49-year-old German is following the same path against League Two (fourth tier) opposition from the south-west of England once more, this time in the form of Plymouth.

Klopp has to factor in the effects of the demanding Christmas schedule, which forced his side to play two matches in less than 48 hours last weekend, beating Manchester City 1-0 on the Saturday before conceding two penalties in a 2-2 draw at Sunderland.

He also has to consider the fact Liverpool play the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Southampton on Wednesday, meaning rotation to keep players fresh is inevitable.

Klopp has indicated Loris Karius, dropped midway through last month after mistakes brought heavy criticism, will return in goal, in order to give Simon Mignolet a breather.

"There is a big chance Loris will play," said Klopp. "He has been training outstandingly well which is good to see.

"It's difficult to speak about these things in public because it becomes a story but we cannot ignore the pressure you make.

"That's how it is, we have to cope with it, deal with it.

"That is why you see I made the change and I am sure Loris will benefit from this step back, or step aside.

"Simon has done a really, really outstanding job for us since he's been playing again and forced Loris to train at the highest level because we have two really good goalkeepers. It was good for him."

Klopp will also rest a number of key first-team players who picked up relatively minor injuries during or before the holiday period, including James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip and Daniel Sturridge.

It means there will be opportunities for players who have largely been on the fringes, such as midfielder Kevin Stewart, and for young players seeking to gain match experience, such as defender Trent Alexander-Arnold.

At least, unlike a year ago, Liverpool start their FA Cup third-round tie with home advantage.

That ought to give Klopp a chance of avoiding the scares of last season, when his team of fringe players and youth products had to come back from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Exeter before winning the replay.

Plymouth, FA Cup semi-finalists in 1984 and quarter-finalists as recently as 2007, are second in League Two, having responded well to the disappointment of losing to AFC Wimbledon in last season's promotion play-off final.

Manager Derek Adams has reshaped his squad considerably since last season's promotion failure, signing 14 players on a permanent basis during the summer and two more since the January transfer window opened.

Perhaps the most intriguing of all the arrivals are former Cameroon Under-20 international defender Yann Songo'o, who has played club football in Spain and the United States, and striker David Goodwillie, who has rather lost his way since winning three caps for Scotland between 2010 and 2011.

"I'm sure no-one will be daunted by it and we're going up there to enjoy it," said Plymouth midfielder David Fox.

"There's no pressure on us at the end of the day.

"We've got a huge following going, backing us and we're going to really enjoy it."

Read more on:    liverpool  |  fa cup  |  jurgen klopp  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United, The John Smith's Stadium 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Monday, 21 August 2017
Manchester City v Everton, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Saturday, 26 August 2017
AFC Bournemouth v Manchester City, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Crystal Palace v Swansea City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v West Ham United, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Southampton, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Watford v Brighton & Hove Albion, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Leicester City, Old Trafford 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.