Jürgen Klopp insists any changes made to his Liverpool line-up tonight are not an indication of where the Carabao Cup sits on the list of ‘priorities’ for 2020-21, stating: ‘We will try for it with all we have.’
Fewer than 72 hours after beating Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield in the Premier League, the Reds welcome the Gunners back to Merseyside for a fourth-round tie.
The teams met in the same round of the tournament last season on Merseyside and duly played out a 5-5 draw before the hosts edged the contest on penalties.
Writing in his column for the official matchday programme, Klopp said: “Last season in the same competition we produced a game that will be spoken about for a long time, I’m sure.
“I know as a coach you are supposed to be, what is the English phrase, ‘tearing your hair out’ when your team concedes that many goals. But on the night, I Ioved the performance from our boys. I loved our energy and the endeavour.
“It is not a case of treating certain competitions as priorities over others. It’s about managing the situation, the circumstances and the squad. I have over 20 players for each match who, in my opinion, are good enough and have earned the right to play. But the rules mean I can only pick 11 to start each time. This is the hardest part of management when you are blessed to have such an incredible group of players.
“It is likely we will make changes this evening but I hate that this is perceived in a way that certain games matter more than others. This game tonight matters like you wouldn’t believe. We want to win it with all we have. But the situation and circumstances cannot be ignored.
“We played on Monday just gone and we play again this Sunday coming. We are fortunate to have players who can come in and our quality and approach not change even 0.1 per cent. For Arsenal I’m sure it is the same.
“Pep Lijnders spoke at the press conference ahead of the Lincoln City game and when a question hinted it would be impossible to win the Carabao Cup if we tried again for the Premier League and Champions League, he spoke for all of us at LFC when he said, ‘We will try.’ And that’s the truth. We will try and give everything while trying. Can we promise success? No! Can we make success happen by simply saying something about it? No!
“But we can try. We can pick what we believe to be the best side for this fixture. Pick the team we think has the best chance of getting us through to the next round. We can prepare like we do for every game – and then we go and attack the contest with the same intensity we have done every match so far this season.
“Tonight will be hard – super hard. Again, without sounding like an Arsenal fan, I really love their squad and I love what they do at the moment.
“But I love us more. I love what we do. I love what we stand for and how we approach our work. I love the humility of our approach and our commitment to be better in each given moment.
“Our supporters expect and deserve each Liverpool team that is selected to represent them in a way that makes them proud. That’s our task tonight. We do not have fans with us at Anfield in person but they are with us still from a distance.
“We know they show the same commitment while watching whichever competition we play in and we will match that with our approach. Again, we can’t promise a result but we can do our best and give all we have.”