Why Jurgen Klopp should take this gamble against Exeter City

Anfield Night

With injuries piling up and some players out on their feet, Liverpool's FA Cup chances may have to be put on the line.

There is a massive selection headache for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool at the moment, and unfortunately for him, it isn't about which star player he has to play to leave the other out.

It's more along the lines of whether to play frontline players against Exeter City in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday evening with 10 of them currently sitting on the sidelines during a busy fixture schedule where many players haven't had much rest during a period of the season that could make or break their campaign.

What follows the trip to St James' Park are key Premier League games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Norwich City before they face the second leg of their League Cup tie against Stoke City at Anfield - where they hold a one goal lead.

For me, Klopp should give a lot of the players who were involved in the first leg of the tie against the Potters the evening off. Yes, he is down to the bare bones of his squad but does he really want to run the risk of sabotaging a real chance of lifting a trophy within four months of arriving at Anfield for a game right at the start of another competition? Or, indeed, any outside opportunity of qualifying for next season's Champions League?

Of course, if Liverpool go out with a team of youngsters taking to the field, then the headlines won't be pretty. There will be talk of embarrassment and that Klopp had somehow devalued the competition - when in reality it would be a case of putting the needs of his players first, and assessing the more likely option of winning trophies this season.

This is not to say that Klopp does not want to win the FA Cup. It's clear that he wants to win every game he manages, and he will not want to disrespect the opponent put in front of him. 

There is a need for a lot of players to get a rest at a crucial stage of the season, and it is a good opportunity to see just how depth there is to the Liverpool squad, and to see a few youngsters in action. If they win, job done and everybody is happy, and there could be the chance that the Reds are not as thin on the ground as the number of absentees would suggest. 

One gets the feeling he's going to go for a pretty strong side out of what he has available, though. 

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