Liverpool’s season is on fire. Top of the league and 22 points above second place Manchester City and with an eye on wining the Champions League, they seem to be in unbeatable form.
Many have them down to win the treble.
That said, there are niggling doubts creeping into the Reds pulling this off. This may seem like silliness but lets examine why it is unlikely Liverpool will win the FA Cup this season.
Klopp Doesn’t Believe in the Trophy
Time and again, Jurgen Klopp has fielded a second-string side this season. This is a strong indication that to him the FA Cup is nice but not essential. One could argue that the league and the Champions League are more important trophies and carry more kudos for Liverpool FC and Klopp himself, but doing the double, i.e. winning the league and FA Cup is something special and resonates with every football fan in the country.
The team that played Shrewsbury Town did not contain a single first team player. If Liverpool are to win in their 5th Round tie against Chelsea, they are going to have to put out their best.
Given its stature and the fact they are the current holders, Liverpool will focus their efforts on winning this trophy. One of the biggest in football, and with a long way ahead Liverpool must be thinking about lifting it for the second time in two years.
Klopp clearly wants his first eleven fit and at their best as the competition enters the latter stages. This means that this first team will play in The Premiership and the Champions League only and not the FA Cup.
Chelsea Need the FA Cup
Whatever way you want to spin it Chelsea are having a bad season by their high standards. As much as Frank Lampard is a legend to the Blues faithful, he hasn’t been able to get consistent wins since taking charge of the team.
A good FA Cup run together with a Champions League finish must be his priority now. If he is to do this, he is probably hoping that Klopp will put out the weaker side to face the lions of Chelsea.
Lampard must know that expectations are high. He must also know that there are few chances to impress at the club and he needs to somehow, someway inject consistent performances into his team of talented superstars.
One of the saving graces of Chelsea this season is how lacklustre every other team seems to be. Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Man United are all having terrible season by the high standards they have set for themselves.
All of this means that Chelsea will be going all out against the Reds, and if Lampard can inject urgency into the side, a weaker Liverpool will crumble.
Should Liverpool Progress
Even if Liverpool beat Chelsea with their second stringers they are going to find it increasingly tough as the competition progresses. The lesser teams are slowly but surely falling away leaving only the better quality competition. All of these clubs are in the same boat as Chelsea and will feel confident at beating Liverpool’s second eleven.
Klopp Unlikely to Revert to the First Team
As things stand it is unlikely Jurgen Klopp is going to change his approach to the FA Cup. He has a lot at stake. He has a reputation as one of the world’s greatest manager’s to cement. It can also be argued that Premiership and European glory is more important to the fans than Premiership and FA Cup glory.
That said, being knocked out of a chance to break records and hold four trophies in one season will break many fans hearts. Liverpool won the World Cup Club earlier in the season.
Hope for Liverpool Fans
The only way Klopp will change his strategy is if Liverpool are knocked out of the Champions League and they are still in the FA Cup. Should that happen it will be bittersweet. That said, three trophies in a season is fantastic whatever way you spin it.
Liverpool’s league form is sublime and they are on course to lift the trophy they came close to winning last year. They have won league game after league game and simply do not look like losing.
There can be no denying that Jurgen Klopp has been the missing link Liverpool have needed for over a decade. They are on the cusp of another golden age similar to the 1970s -1990s when the team dominated top flight football.
If you’re an Anfield faithful, however, you’re probably going to be disappointed when Liverpool are knocked out of the FA Cup this season.