Champions League

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

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Jurgen Klopp and Trent Alexander-Arnold (Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp and Trent Alexander-Arnold (Getty Images)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted a looming FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City will have no impact on his team selection for Wednesday's Champions League tie at home to Benfica.

Last weekend the Reds, still in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies in the one season, drew 2-2 with City to remain just a point behind the Premier League leaders.

They will face City again in the last four of the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday but before then the six-time kings of Europe play Benfica in 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 final at Wembley in February, have a healthy 3-1 lead following the first leg in Portugal, which has led to speculation Klopp could rest key players with an eye to the FA Cup tie.

But the German boss, speaking at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday, insisted: "The next game has no influence on the line-up for tomorrow but the last game 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 said: "We are part of four competitions, and thankfully we are good enough this year not to go out early.

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

Anfield factor

Liverpool raced into an early 2-0 lead in Lisbon last week before Darwin Nunez pulled a goal back for Benfica.

And it was only 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," said 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 (da Silva), things like this."

He added: "I don't know (how they will play) but I know what I would do. I would go for it, full throttle. I would try to put us under pressure, score early, and if not try to score a bit later. That's what we expect.

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

Klopp also suggested television broadcasters were almost as much a threat to Liverpool as their opponents in a renewed attack on the scheduling of the Merseysiders' matches.

If Liverpool defeat Benfica, they will face either Bayern Munich or Villarreal in the last four, with Klopp angry that after that potential midweek semi-final Liverpool would have to travel 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," said 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 12.30 pm (1130 GMT)?" 


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Fixtures
Wed 13 Apr 22 19:00 PM (SAST)
Liverpool
SL Benfica
Anfield
Wed 13 Apr 22 19:00 PM (SAST)
Atletico Madrid
Manchester City
Wanda Metropolitano
Tue 26 Apr 22 19:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
Real Madrid
Etihad Stadium
Results
Sat 28 May 22
Liverpool
Liverpool 0
Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1
Wed 04 May 22
Real Madrid
Real Madrid 3
Manchester City
Manchester City 1
Tue 03 May 22
Villarreal
Villarreal 2
Liverpool
Liverpool 3
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
Team Logo
1. Bayern Munich
6
6
18
Team Logo
2. AFC Ajax
6
6
18
Team Logo
3. Liverpool
6
6
18
Team Logo
4. Real Madrid
6
5
15