‘I get knocked down, so I get up again’….
A classic lyric from a classic pop grou….err, Chumbawamba and quite apt for the week that is in it.
Following a deflating defeat to a woeful Manchester United outfit, Liverpool welcome Exeter City for their FA Cup 3rd Round Replay; a match that Jurgen Klopp can’t believe he has to squeeze into an already insanely hectic schedule that shows no sign of ending. This will be the first of three matches in six days for the Anfield outfit and this leaves Klopp with a dilemma…
Should he play ‘The Muppets’, or ‘The Muppet Babies’?
His team selection may well depend on his thoughts at to his main priorities for the remainder of this season. The defeat to Manchester United leaves them 8 points and 5 places from the Champions League places, with no sign of the required consistent winning mentality that they will need to bridge that gap.
Therefore Klopp may make a decision to concentrate on the three cup competitions that they are still competing in. The hope could be that they gain some silverware during his first part-season in charge, and if it’s the Europa League they snaffle, they will gain that Champions League place as a result.
Some may call that a risky strategy, and some may call it a realistic ambition. Whatever he does, he won’t be able to please everybody.
Therefore, we may see a mix of youth and experience in the side picked to play Exeter on Wednesday night. I suspect that Mignolet will start in goal as Danny Ward is ineligible and there has been no sign of Bogdan since the original tie was played. A mysterious mound has appeared in a corner of Melwood, along with a shovel and a bag of lime in Klopp’s office, but nobody is daring to ask the question at this time.
Jerome Sinclair started at Exeter and scored his first senior goal, but since then he has publicly stated that he is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. Klopp may be slow to put his faith in him again as a result.
In truth, you have more chance of picking the winning Lotto numbers than you have of correctly guessing the team that Klopp will pick for this game. Whatever team he picks, Liverpool should have enough about them to see off their League 2 opponents at the second time of asking.
One thing is for certain – following the blow to the solar-plexus on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp will hope he won’t be turned grey by The Grecians on Wednesday night. I’ll get my coat…