John Aldridge issues a plea to Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool's FA Cup clash
Liverpool goal-scoring great John Aldridge has urged Reds manager Jurgen Klopp not to make wholesale changes to his team for Saturday night’s FA Cup fourth round clash against West Bromwich Albion.
Klopp has tended to play youthful performers in domestic cup competitions during his reign as Liverpool boss, with last season’s FA Cup exit against Wolves at Anfield evidence of what can happen when a host of senior stars are rested.
Now Aldridge is hoping Klopp learns his lesson from that experience when he renews acquaintances with Alan Pardew and West Brom this weekend.
"Liverpool should have a real go at winning the FA Cup this season and I hope Klopp does not mess around with the team too much on Saturday," states Aldridge, who won the FA Cup with Liverpool back in 1989.
"The Wolves defeat last year was a disaster and that came because the manager made too many changes to his team, so don’t worry about the Premier League game at Huddersfield on Tuesday and go for it in the FA Cup.
"Alan Pardew has had some decent results against Liverpool in recent years and he will make his West Brom side tough to beat, with the hope of getting a goal on a set-piece or a counter attack. As Swansea proved on Monday night, it can be very effective against this Liverpool team.
"Klopp needs to remember that fans cherish the days their club wins a cup and Liverpool supporters have not experienced that enough in the last few years.
"The day I won the FA Cup was one of the proudest moments of my life and I’m sure every Liverpool player wants to experience that emotion at Wembley next May.
"A full strength Liverpool are good enough to win the competition this season, so Klopp needs to give himself every chance of winning his first major trophy at the club."
Many Liverpool fans will echo the sentiments of Aldridge, but Klopp is still expected to make wholesale changes to the team that lost at Stoke, with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah all showing signs of fatigue in that game.
Simon Mignolet, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke are all tipped to return to the Liverpool side this weekend, with Klopp eager to keep his side fresh ahead of the trip to Huddersfield.