Klopp set to ring the changes for West Ham clash

Liverpool’s exertions in their midweek League Cup shootout win over Stoke City mean it will be a much-changed side that faces West Ham United in this weekend’s FA Cup clash, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

Klopp fielded a number of young academy graduates when they beat Exeter City in a replay to come through the FA Cup’s previous round and some of those could find themselves thrown back into action at Anfield on Saturday.

West Ham have already beaten Liverpool twice in the league this season, but with Klopp’s squad currently decimated by injuries, his options are limited.
Klopp set to ring the changes for West Ham clash
“A different team, for sure, to the last game,” said Klopp. “We have no other chance.”

The German said that his players in the midweek match with Stoke needed time to recover after playing for 120 minutes and then taking part in an exciting penalty shoot-out. He added that it had been calculated that his team had run 156 kms (96 miles) with some individuals clocking up 17kms (10.5 miles) in the match.

“How I said 156 kilometres, we had a few players 17 kilometres in this game. Highest high speed ever, things like this. Nobody forced this before. I said not try to break all records, so it was the game and we wanted to go to the final and fight for it and they did it,” Klopp said.

He told reporters that his team was about to play three important games in seven days, and he could not ask the same players to turn out for those.

“That’s great but we cannot say come on now it is West Ham, it is FA Cup, and it is a world championship or whatever, and again against Leicester and against ‘bababa’ and all this stuff. It works not like this so we have to make a few changes, we will make them, but only, but only, because we want to win the game,” he said.

After playing West Ham in the FA Cup on Saturday, Liverpool travel to League leaders Leicester City on February 2, then Sunderland on February 6.

Klopp noted that Liverpool and Manchester City were the only English teams still competing in the Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup, with Liverpool in the Europa League and City in the Champions League too.

He said when his team was still turning out for matches, Premier League leaders Leicester City were having three days off, having already been knocked out of the FA Cup.

Asked if he was going to strengthen his depleted squad with additions in the remainder of the January transfer window, Klopp brushed aside the suggestion.

A number of players including Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira have been rumoured to be of interest to Liverpool.

“We always check the possibilities,” said Klopp. “That is what we did since I am here. And now it is close to close the window, so we have to – if something happens we will see. But there is nothing to say about in this moment, because if we are close to something everything I could say now would disturb this and if not it is the same situation so it is nothing to say.”

The manager confirmed that captain Jordan Henderson has re-joined an injury list which includes nine of the German’s first team squad, having been substituted during the second half of Tuesday’s match with a recurrence of his long-term heel injury.

While centre back Dejan Lovren, who was on the bench against Stoke, is now back fit and right back Nathaniel Clyne, recovering from a knee injury, is a possibility to face West Ham, Klopp said Daniel Sturridge’s woes are ongoing.

The England striker, whose injury problems have ruled him out of the majority of the last two seasons, has not played since suffering a hamstring problem on Dec. 6 and he will miss at least their next two games, his manager said.

“He is still working. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse,” Klopp added.

“It is bad and sometimes worse because of one or other issues or that is all. And it is a lot of sessions in the last few weeks but it is always interrupted by a few breaks and so he needs consistency in sessions and that is what we try to do, so that is all.”

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