Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has chosen to drop stars Mohamed Salah and Thiago to the bench against Aston Villa with an FA Cup final clash with Chelsea on the horizon. The oldest trophy in football will be handed out to winner of Saturday’s game with the Reds eyeing a famous quadruple.
The two teams have already played out one final this season with Thomas Tuchel tasting defeat at Wembley for a second time after a dramatic penalty shootout in the Carabao Cup back in February. Having lost to Leicester in the final of last season’s competition, the German will be more determined than ever to get one over on his compatriot.
There has been some disquiet among Blues fans in the build up to the final that Liverpool will have an extra day to prepare for the showpiece event. Liverpool face Aston Villa the night before Chelsea make the trip to Leeds on Wednesday. But Tuchel was eager to avoid the excuse when it was mentioned at his pre-match press conference.
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“We are used to it. We will not comment on it,” he said on Tuesday. “Well, it’s… what is it? I am confused with the days. We play Tuesday to Saturday and Wednesday to Saturday. We would love one more day but we don’t have.”
After dropping points in the Premier League title race on Saturday evening with a 1-1 draw to Tottenham, it would have been hard to blame Klopp for fielding his strongest XI on Tuesday night as they looked to close the gap on Manchester City. But that is not what he chose to do.
Instead, two of his most influential players were dropped to the bench in the form of forward Salah and midfielder Thiago. It is something else for Tuchel to now bear in mind ahead of the game, with a fresh duo almost certain to be starting at Wembley.
Source by Football London