Liverpool set to field strong side in FA Cup match against Chelsea, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Liverpool set to field strong side in FA Cup match against Chelsea

Gomez and Milner available as Liverpool seek to bounce back from Watford loss

Liverpool's regulars are set to return to the starting line-up for the FA Cup fifth-round clash at Chelsea, after fielding their Under-23 players in the previous round last month.

The Reds' Under-23s, led by Neil Critchley, beat third-tier side Shrewsbury Town in a fourth-round replay after Juergen Klopp refused to field senior players since the match was played during the English Premier League's winter break.


Liverpool also fielded a young side in the League Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa - a game they lost - due to a fixture crunch while the senior side won the Club World Cup in Qatar. Klopp said he would take no chances at Stamford Bridge tomorrow morning (Singapore time), as they looked to progress.

"It's a different situation to the last round. The team that played at Shrewsbury was a team that made sense for us at that moment," said Klopp.

"It won't be the team that played Aston Villa and Shrewsbury, for sure. There will be boys in the squad, but if they start, we will see.

"If Chelsea make changes, it will still be a very experienced team... It's the last 16 of the FA Cup and we want to go through."

Klopp has centre-back Joe Gomez and midfielder James Milner available again, but his counterpart Frank Lampard has to contend with a lengthening injury list.

The Blues boss said yesterday that centre-back Andreas Christensen could miss the game due to a "small problem".

Lampard is still without Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and N'Golo Kante, as he bids to advance in the only competition that his side can realistically win this season.

Said Lampard: "The team I put out should give everything to compete with Liverpool, as we have done twice this season. We competed very well against them and were probably unfortunate on both occasions to lose."

He was referring to a 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge last September and a penalty shoot-out defeat in the Uefa Super Cup final a month before that.

"I will presume Liverpool will put out their strongest team, or there and thereabouts, knowing whatever team they put out will give us a very difficult match."

A 3-0 loss at Watford over the weekend ended Liverpool's 44-match unbeaten run in the EPL, but Lampard is wary of the wounded Reds.

He said: "I don't know if it's a good time to play them. Maybe not, who knows? They have become relatively human for one game. It shows how competitive the Premier League is and how well they've done."


Reds centre-back Dejan Lovren was criticised for giving Watford's strikers opportunities to score, but Klopp was quick to jump to the Croat's defence.

"If anyone blames Dejan Lovren for our defeat, I can't help these people," Klopp said.

"It was a massive challenge for Dejan to play against Troy Deeney. Joe Gomez has had similar problems. Both Dejan and Joe have played sensational games for us in this position.

"Fitness and rhythm is the most difficult to get in professional football. Dejan is an outstanding centre-half."

Klopp added that the Watford game would not influence his team selection for the Chelsea match.

"We always play with a team which gives us the best chance to reach the next round," he said. - REUTERS