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Jota update & resting Salah – 4 key things from Klopp’s pre-Man City press conference

Jurgen Klopp held his FA Cup semi-final press conference on Thursday, with the Liverpool manager suggesting Diogo Jota could be a doubt against Man City.

Here are four key things from Klopp’s FA Cup preview…

 

Calls for “common sense” over fixtures

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 13, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Liverpool booking their place in the Champions League semi-finals, they are now guaranteed a tight turnaround for their Premier League trip to Newcastle.

The St James’ Park clash comes three days after the first leg at home to Villarreal, but with a late finish on the Wednesday followed by a 12.30pm kickoff on the Saturday, Klopp wants “common sense” from the broadcasters.

“We said that I don’t know how often, it’s a massive difference because each hour counts for recovery,” he explained.

“And if you want to cause us problems, you send us at 12.30pm to Newcastle.

“I don’t understand it. I can understand people want to see a football game between Newcastle and Liverpool, but I don’t see why any team should have an advantage or disadvantage.

“That’s just how it is. I really think that the league and the broadcasters just have to try at least to help there.

“We will see. I didn’t hear anything about that yet, nobody from BT contacted me yet, but I would say common sense would tell you that it’s probably the right thing to do to move the game slightly backwards.”

 

Wants “completely different level” vs. City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (3rd from L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Liverpool taking on City for the second time in seven days, the manager is hoping for an improved performance from the sluggish showing at the Etihad last weekend.

A number of players were far from their best in Manchester, including Fabinho at the base of midfield, with Klopp admitting that “a couple of positions” fell short.

“I think City were really strong last week and we were not at our best. So I would like to see a game where we are at our best as well,” he said.

“It would be interesting, so let’s give it a try – that would be a surprise, all of a sudden we are good!

“The boys did a lot of good stuff in the game, but I really think in a couple of positions we are able to perform on a completely different level.

“I think we should give that a try.”

 

No option but to rest Salah

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 13, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Mohamed Salah warms-up during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For only the third time this season, Mohamed Salah found himself on the substitutes bench for the Champions League decider against Benfica.

The Egyptian came on to extend his goalless run to five games – with only one in the last nine – though Klopp insists his minutes are simply being managed.

“The reason for Mo not starting is easy. Yes, he played City, but we have hopefully 12 games [left to play],” Klopp said.

“That’s why [we rest him] when we have the opportunity to change, that’s all.

“Even if Mo would have scored four goals in the last game, he wouldn’t have started yesterday. That’s how it is.”

 

Jota injury update

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 2, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After the 3-3 draw with Benfica, Klopp revealed that Jota had suffered a knock in the first half, but outlined his belief that “everybody should be fine” for the weekend.

The manager was slightly less confident the following day, with the No. 20 suffering swelling that makes him a doubt for Saturday.

“I said last night that Diogo got a knock,” he said.

“It swelled up slightly directly after the game, obviously when I was in the press conference.

“There’s a good chance he will be alright but we need to have a closer look tomorrow. That’s it.”

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