Football: Klopp says Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final has no bearing on Benfica line-up

LIVERPOOL (AFP) – Liverpool supervisor Jurgen Klopp has insisted a looming FA Cup semi-final in opposition to Manchester City could have no affect on his workforce choice for Wednesday’s Champions League tie at residence to Benfica.

Last weekend, the Reds, nonetheless within the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies within the one season, drew 2-2 with City to stay only a level behind the Premier League leaders.

They will face City once more within the final 4 of the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday however earlier than then the six-time kings of Europe play Benfica within the second leg of a Champions League quarter-final at Anfield.

Liverpool, who beat Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out to win the English League Cup closing in February, have a wholesome 3-1 lead following the primary leg in Portugal, which has led to hypothesis Klopp might relaxation key gamers with a watch to the FA Cup tie.

But the German boss, talking at a pre-match press convention on Tuesday (April 12), insisted: “The subsequent recreation has no affect on the line-up for tomorrow however the final recreation has.

“So we have to see. It is a super intense schedule.”

Klopp added: “There is nobody injured, as far as I know, but we have to be careful with who is fresh enough for this game and stuff like this.”

As for Liverpool’s ongoing bid for the quadruple, Klopp mentioned: “We are a part of 4 competitions, and fortunately we’re ok this yr to not exit early.

“We just try to squeeze everything out of every competition. Some are possible, we will see.”

Anfield issue

Liverpool raced into an early 2-0 lead in Lisbon final week earlier than Darwin Nunez pulled a purpose again for Benfica.

And it was solely when Luis Diaz scored three minutes from time that Liverpool restored their two-goal lead.

“Knowing more about the way they played, they try to isolate Darwin and Ibou (Konate) one-on-one a little bit,” mentioned Klopp.

“But they play football, and if you don’t defend (Julian) Weigl then you have a problem as well because he connects the people. They have speed with Rafa (Silva), things like this.”

He added: “I don’t know (how they’ll play) however I do know what I might do. I might go for it, full throttle. I might attempt to put us below stress, rating early, and if not attempt to rating a bit later. That’s what we count on.

“But now, bad news for Benfica, it’s Anfield: they don’t only play against us, they play against the whole crowd.”

Klopp additionally urged tv broadcasters had been virtually as a lot a menace to Liverpool as their opponents in a renewed assault on the scheduling of the Merseysiders’ matches.

If Liverpool defeat Benfica, they’ll face both Bayern Munich or Villarreal within the final 4, with Klopp indignant that after that potential midweek semi-final Liverpool must journey to Newcastle for a Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

“The schedule, and how people use the fame in the moment – Liverpool is hot and everyone wants to see them – they couldn’t care less,” mentioned Klopp.

“It’s just not OK. If we play a Champions League semi-final, find me another league in the world and another broadcaster in the world who would put that team in a 12.30pm?”

Benfica winger Everton mentioned on Tuesday he has been analysing the weaknesses of Liverpool’s defence within the hope of gaining a bonus within the return leg.

Everton is more likely to be up in opposition to the appropriate facet of Liverpool’s back-line, together with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ibrahima Konate.

“I’ve been trying to study the opponent after the first game, looking to better analyse the individual qualities of Alexander-Arnold and Konate,” Everton instructed a press convention.

“I have tried to see where they have difficulties, the weak points, so that I can exploit and have a happy night, to give joy to the fans.”

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