GLEN JOHNSON: Brand Ambassador and former Liverpool right back Glen Johnson on why Klopp is likely to pick a stronger side against Chelsea in the FA Cup, why players prefer to play games and not break for winter, West Ham’s woes and the Weekly Acca!
Klopp will play the big guns against Chelsea
Although Jurgen Klopp’s decision to play the kids against Shrewsbury paid off, I really doubt he’ll do that against Chelsea and I’d expect to see a much stronger side. The fact they are so far ahead in the Premier League as well the fact they are not far off another piece of silverware surely means he’ll want to give himself the best chance of getting through to the next round.
If he plays a young side against Chelsea it will be a massive struggle for them to get through and with all the momentum they’ve generated, there doesn’t seem much point in affecting that by playing a weaker team. You can get away with it against the weaker sides, but against the likes of Chelsea you can’t. Klopp will know that and I’m sure he’ll pick his 11 with that in mind.
Playing the kids would show Liverpool have no desire whatsoever to win the FA Cup. That seems pretty crazy considering they are in the fifth round and are virtually champions in the league. To be honest, they could do it in reverse – play a more youthful side in the Premier League and pick the big guns in the cup! They’ve been so good this season that they’ve given themselves the luxury of being able to do that.
Winter break wouldn’t have been for me
This is obviously the first time the Premier League has gone through its winter break which for someone like me seems a bit strange. From my perspective, you just want to play games of football and the new method means that if anything there are more games in a shorter period, so I’m not entirely sure it’s for the best.
There’s plenty spoken about the amount of football that’s played these days, particularly with all the injuries, however that is all part of what you sign up for as a professional footballer. Players much prefer to play games than just train, so I don’t think that many players are too bothered by the hectic schedule.
West Ham face huge task against City
West Ham are really struggling at the moment and things don’t get much easier with a trip to the Etihad on Sunday. If they want to get anything out of the game, they’ll need to perform at a level they haven’t done for a while now and based on current form that looks very unlikely. They need to show the fight and hunger that gets you out of trouble and David Moyes needs to get his players performing at a much higher level than they are now.
I would have given Manuel Pellegrini more time because a manager can only work with what he’s got and the West Ham squad isn’t good enough. They’ve got some very talented players, but for whatever reason they just aren’t showing it on the pitch and I for one am very surprised at where they find themselves. I actually tipped them alongside Leicester to be one of the sides challenging for the top-six. The table doesn’t lie though and they are most certainly in a big fight to stay in the division.
I got three results correct last week, so let’s hope for more of the same this time around! I’m expecting Sheffield United to keep their amazing season going, while Manchester City should have far too much for West Ham.
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