Saturday 25 May 2019

Aldo: 'Klopp should have a real go at Cup glory'

Kevin Palmer
Kevin Palmer

Liverpool goalscoring great John Aldridge has warned Reds manager Jurgen Klopp against making wholesale changes to his team for tonight's FA Cup fourth round clash against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield.

Klopp has used youthful performers in domestic cup competitions during his reign as Liverpool boss, with last season's shock FA Cup exit against Wolves at Anfield evidence of the perils that can happen when a host of senior stars are rested.

Now Aldridge is hoping Klopp learns his lesson from that experience when he renews acquaintances with Alan Pardew and West Brom this weekend.

"Liverpool should have a real go at winning the FA Cup this season and I hope Klopp does not mess around with the team too much on Saturday," states Aldridge, who won the FA Cup with Liverpool back in 1989.

"The Wolves defeat last year was a disaster and that came because the manager made too many changes to his team, so don't worry about the Premier League game at Huddersfield on Tuesday and go for it in the FA Cup.

"Alan Pardew has had some decent results against Liverpool in recent years and he will make his West Brom side tough to beat, with the hope of getting a goal on a set-piece or a counter attacking. As Swansea proved on Monday night, it can be very effective against this Liverpool team.

"Klopp needs to remember is that fans cherish the days their club wins a cup and Liverpool supporters have not experienced that enough in the last few years.

"The day I won the FA Cup was one of the proudest moments of my life and I'm sure every Liverpool player wants to experience that emotion at Wembley next May.

"A full strength Liverpool are good enough to win the competition this season, so Klopp needs to give himself every chance of winning his first major trophy at the club."

Many Liverpool fans will echo the sentiments of Aldridge, but Klopp is still expected to make wholesale changes to the team that lost at Stoke, with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah all showing signs of fatigue in that game.

Simon Mignolet, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren, Jordan Adam Lallana, Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke are all tipped to return to the Liverpool side tonight, with Klopp eager to keep his players fresh ahead of the trip to Huddersfield.

Ireland winger James McClean, meanwhile, is one of a string of West Brom players who have been struck down by a flu bug ahead of the game.

Ben Foster, Ahmed Hegazi, Gareth McAuley, Jay Rodriguez, Sam Field and McClean are all struggling ahead of the fourth-round clash.

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