The Reds have had a testing run of games, and after seeing off Stoke City in the Capital One Cup semi-finals—following a draining extra time and a dramatic penalty shootout—Klopp has admitted that his team are running on empty.
Perhaps with an eye on upcoming Premier League fixtures, the German manager has admitted that he will give some of his youngsters a run out in the FA Cup fourth-round match against West Ham United on Saturday.
“I can’t ignore the other games, I can’t say try it again. If they are injured we cannot use them and if we know about the intensity of the last game and the short break to the next one I can’t say go again until you lay on the ground,” Klopp began, as per the Mirror.
“It will be a different team, for sure, to the last game. We have no other choice. We ran 156 kilometres against Stoke and a few players that ran 17 kilometres in this game, the highest speed ever and breaking all records for distance covered.
“Nobody forced them before the game – ‘Please try to break all records!’ Stoke did only 3km less so it was intense, very intense. We have no chance.
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“We wanted to go to the final and we had to fight for it. But now we cannot say, ‘Come on, it’s West Ham, it’s the FA Cup, it’s the world championship or whatever. And then again against Leicester and again against the rest.’ It doesn’t work like this, so we have to make a changes.”
Klopp’s decision could mean that a host of the club’s talented youngsters and wonderkid prospects get a run out, with some of them having previously featured in the third-round victory over Exeter City.
Familiar face Jordon Ibe will likely feature, along with the likes of Joao Teixeira, Sheyi Ojo, Cameron Brannagan and Kevin Stewart, in a lineup that may well give the Hammers some optimism about their chances of advancing.