Liverpool FC is in the semi-final of The FA Cup this weekend. They will travel to Wembley Stadium where they face a tough opponent, for a place in the FA Cup final. Klopp’s Liverpool has been able to fight their way into the semis, after wins against West Bromwich Albion and Blackburn Rovers respectively. Their opponents, Manchester United, have had a fantastic season so far and will prove to be stern opponents for Klopp’s Liverpool. The FA Cup has become a lot more important to both sides as their league form is inconsistent.
The FA Cup has been a huge chance for Klopp to make his first major final, something he has yet to do since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015. Klopp’s biggest test, thus far, has been deciding whether to play the FA Cup or chase the Champions League places. Klopp will likely rotate his squad for Liverpool’s semi-final match against Manchester United but expects a tough quarter-final tie against Stoke City at Anfield next week.
The FA Cup quarter-finals proved to be an easy ride for Klopp’s Liverpool. It was expected that West Brom would provide a stern test, but it proved to be the contrary as Liverpool ran out 4-0 winners. This win came after Liverpool blew another lead in their previous game against Bournemouth. This led many critics to say that Klopp had taken his eye of the Premier League and prioritized The FA Cup.
The importance of this game for Klopp’s men cannot be underestimated as the pressure on their league form is becoming too much to bare. Liverpool have not won a Premier League game since February 28th, which was against Watford at Anfield, and they are now 5th in the table with 61 points.
Despite having their most difficult run of fixtures out of the way, Liverpool are not on a good run of form. This is due to injuries and fatigue catching up on some key players in Klopp’s squad. The likes of Firmino, Clyne, Milner have all been playing virtually every game since November while Jordan Henderson has also missed games with injury problems.
The FA Cup has boosted Klopp’s chances of achieving some silverware in his first full season at Anfield. His team still has the chance to win the Capital One Cup this season, after beating Stoke City on penalties in February. Liverpool also recently beat Manchester City 4-1 over two legs in the round of 16 of the Europa League. Klopp is slowly making headway in his first season at Anfield and the German manager will hope that this continues into an FA Cup final triumph.
As Manchester United loomed on the other side of a Wembley Stadium tunnel, Jurgen Klopp pleaded with a backroom staff member to replace the water bottles his tired players had been swigging from during their pre-game warm-up. It would be hours before Liverpool’s players would return to Merseyside and they needed their fluids replenished for one last push that will end at the semi-final stage of the Europa League unless Manchester United can produce the first-half performance as limp as Liverpool’s had been in Basel.
Liverpool’s key players are tired but Jurgen Klopp must risk them for The Europa League After 120 minutes at St Jakob Park that failed to match Thursday night’s epic encounter between Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur for entertainment, Klopp might have been expected to be keeping his fingers crossed for penalties. And yet as Tottenham exited the competition 11-10 on spot-kicks, Liverpool’s players were being reminded by their manager that they would not be coming back from Switzerland with a second consecutive goalless draw against Augsburg under their belts. “What do you think?” Klopp asked his players as they awaited their coach to take them back to Liverpool. “Do you want to go again or not?” They voted unanimously for another 45 minutes and it will be interesting to discover how many of this nation’s football fans – if asked the same question – would have joined them if given the option of watching England’s Under 21s instead.
Jurgen Klopp has looked tired himself in recent weeks There has been a coffee machine installed at the club’s Melwood training ground for Klopp to get through each day and he is getting an increasing number of naps during his working week. He will be grateful that the traveling Liverpool supporters inside Wembley turned up late because he would have probably slept through the first half had it not been for Adam Lallana’s inviting cross that was met by Divock Origi just after the hour. When Klopp brought on Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho with 36 minutes remaining, he must have feared that his game plan to take hold of the game against Augsburg would be ruined.