Thursday 17 January 2019

Klopp call to calm it

Row over Matip unsettles Liverpool ahead of Cup replay at Plymouth

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has called for cool heads from his Liverpool players as they try to avoid an FA Cup upset away to League Two side Plymouth tonight.

But the Anfield boss is most unhappy with FIFA as the ongoing row over the availability of Joel Matip leaves Klopp unsure if he can play the ex-Cameroon international tonight.

The Reds are the only side from those challenging for the Premier League title who were forced into an FA Cup replay, having drawn 0-0 at home to their fourth-tier opponents two weeks ago.

Plymouth, who have Dublin natives Graham Carey and Connor Smith in their squad, hope to cause an upset but Klopp is keen to keep the passionate home supporters quiet and breeze into the fourth round draw.

"We have to do what we did to Manchester United - to cool the atmosphere down with the way we play, that's what our main target is for this game," says Klopp.

"We cannot react to what they do. They are allowed to defend with all they have, because we are a Premier League team and they are a League Two team.

"Usually, they play differently, they are a top team in League Two. But to go to the next round, as a lower-league team, you should concentrate on defence, that absolutely makes sense. If they open the pace, we'll take it, but I don't expect it."

But Matip may not be allowed play, due to a query over his involvement with Cameroon.

"There are not a lot of times in my life when I have been in a situation like this, not even a similar situation," said Klopp. "It is pretty difficult."

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