Liverpool were dumped out at the first hurdle by Wolves.

No advantage to FA Cup exit – Jurgen Klopp

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  • 2019-01-11 22:11:04 11 months ago
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp denies their FA Cup exit has given them an advantage over Premier League title rivals Manchester City and Tottenham.

Defeat to Wolves on Monday left the league leaders with a run of five matches – against Brighton, Crystal Palace, Leicester, West Ham and Bournemouth – before the Champions League last-16 encounter with Bayern Munich in February.

By comparison, City and Spurs are both still in four competitions and have Carabao Cup semi-final second legs and FA Cup fourth-round ties to play within that time.

Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolves
Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolves (Nick Potts/PA)

But Klopp said: "There's no advantage, we will see it.

"When does the Champions League start? In February? It's not even a month and then we talk again completely differently. It's just the situation.

"Other teams played more games, they are still in competitions, but they can deal with it, you can see it.

"We could deal with it as well with the right number of players, that's how it is, but that's all. There's no advantage, we have to use the time.

"I would love to still be in these competitions but we are not in. I know Pep (Guardiola) said already that he prefers to be in four competitions.

Pep Guardiola's side are targeting a quadruple
Pep Guardiola's side are targeting a quadruple (Richard Sellers/PA)

"Yeah, I would prefer the same. But we are not in, so we have to make the best of the time we have now and get as many points as possible.

"You have to use the time and really be week in, week out the best shape we can be, understand the job right, understand the challenge right, and go for it. That's our job, nothing else."

Klopp made nine changes at Molineux, giving debuts to youth-team players Curtis Jones and Rafael Camacho, while 16-year-old substitute Ki-Jana Hoever was pressed into action after Dejan Lovren sustained an early hamstring problem.

That leaves Virgil Van Dijk as the only fit centre-back, although Joel Matip has returned to training this week and could be in contention to play at Brighton.

"Joel trained yesterday, first time with the team, but we have to decide day-by-day how he is doing," said Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp could welcome back Joel Matip, right, at the weekend
Jurgen Klopp could welcome back Joel Matip, right, at the weekend (Dave Thompson/PA)

"Hendo (Jordan Henderson) will train today, first time, and we will see what that means exactly. Adam (Lallana) out. Dejan out – it's not that serious and I would expect him back maybe after Crystal Palace. Joe (Gomez) of course out.

"It's quite special. I think if you want to put a bet on having three centre-halves injured in the same moment, you could win a lot of money.

"It usually doesn't happen but here it happened and was a bit of bad luck. That makes it quite a bit tricky."

Defeat to City in their last Premier League outing has cut Liverpool's lead to four points, but in any other year their tally of 54 points from 21 matches would have given them a significantly better advantage over the chasing pack.

It is not something which concerns Klopp, who ruled out a January loan move for youngster Camacho after his debut at Wolves.

Rafael Camacho will not be leaving Liverpool on loan
Rafael Camacho will not be leaving Liverpool on loan (Nick Potts/PA)

"Statistics from the past have no relevance in the present because it is always different. We don't think about the season before or 20 years ago," said the Reds boss.

"Our season so far is really good and now we have to carry on. It is not important what happened so far.

"Two weeks ago I think everyone was so excited about the distance between (the teams at the top) and all of us who are in the job (think) that is just one information in 2,000.

"We have now two games which we lost, which is not nice, but it is not a real problem because these games have gone as well.

"We only talk here (in the press conference) about the points and the distance, we never do that during the week because it is just not relevant."

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No advantage to FA Cup exit – Jurgen Klopp

Eddie Howe open to more arrivals at Bournemouth

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has refused to rule out strengthening his injury-hit squad further during the January transfer window.

The Cherries last week splashed £19million to sign England striker Dominic Solanke from Liverpool, with right-back Nathaniel Clyne arriving on loan from Anfield on the same day.

Bournemouth, who have lost eight of their last 11 Premier League fixtures, have seen their squad reduced by a succession of serious knee injuries in the past two months

Captain Simon Francis, right-back Adam Smith and England midfielder Lewis Cook are each sidelined for the foreseeable future, while new boy Solanke is currently unavailable for his debut because of a hamstring problem.

Howe, who on Sunday allowed veteran striker Jermain Defoe to join Rangers, takes his mid-table team to Everton on Sunday and is considering recruiting additional reinforcements this month.

"I wouldn't rule anything in or out in this transfer window," said Howe at his pre-match press conference.

"We've been forced to act this time due to injuries, so we'll wait and see what happens in the coming weeks."

Speaking about the arrivals of Clyne – who made his debut in the 3-1 FA Cup loss to Brighton – and Solanke, Howe added: "I was pleased to get our two deals over the line so quickly.

"We have some long-term injuries and they're big losses, so to fill the positions is very important to us.

"Nathaniel has settled in well. He's trained very well and I was pleased with his performance last week.

"We haven't seen Dominic in training just yet."

Ahead of the trip to Goodison Park, Howe has further selection concerns, particularly in attacking areas.

Top scorer Callum Wilson, a reported transfer target for Chelsea, and creative winger Ryan Fraser will undergo late fitness tests on hamstring issues, while Joshua King is also a doubt due to illness.

Bournemouth battled back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with the Toffees at the Vitality Stadium in late August, a feisty contest which both sides ended with 10 men.

Howe expects another open game against Marco Silva's men this weekend as the Cherries search for just a third league win since October.

"It's another massive game for us. We're keen to show a response to the recent run that we've been on," he added.

"It's two teams that want to attack and implement their attacking play on the other team.

"We did really well to come back from two goals down against them earlier this season."

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Pochettino-Solskjaer showdown takes centre stage

The Premier League returns this weekend following the FA Cup third round with plenty of talking points at both ends of the table.

Chief among them is the intriguing contest at Wembley on Sunday, where Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino takes on the club who reportedly want him as the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho.

An Old Trafford audition?

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea – Carabao Cup – Semi Final – First Leg – Wembley Stadium
Mauricio Pochettino is reported to be at the top of Manchester United's wanted list (Nick Potts/PA)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret about how much he wants the Manchester United job full time, but is up against the man widely tipped to be the Red Devils' first choice for the position long term.

Solskjaer has won his first five games as interim manager since Mourinho's sacking last month but the game against Tottenham represents by far the biggest test of the Norwegian's tenure so far.

A positive result for Pochettino will only fan the flames of those calling for him to be the man handed the reins in the summer – but what if Solskjaer wins the tactical battle?

Liverpool need to clip Seagulls wings and return to winning ways

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool remain four points clear at the Premier League summit but have lost their last two games.

Defeat to closest title rivals Manchester City was followed up with a much-changed side losing to Wolves in the third round of the FA Cup.

It may only be a small blip for the Reds but they will be keen to correct it with victory at Brighton on Saturday.

More Arn than good?

West Ham face a London derby against Arsenal at the London Stadium on Saturday as the future of one of their stars is once again up in the air.

Marko Arnautovic has been the go-to man for the Hammers in recent months but is seemingly angling for a move to the Chinese Super League in the January transfer window.

It remains to be seen if Manuel Pellegrini will keep faith in the Austria forward for the visit of the Gunners, with the reaction of the home fans likely to be hostile.

Can Bluebirds can fly high and leave Terriers in the doghouse?

Cardiff were one of the early relegation favourites but have won four of their last seven home games and picked up three points at Leicester last month.

They host bottom club Huddersfield this weekend looking to bounce back from heavy home losses to Manchester United and Tottenham, as well as an FA Cup exit at the hands of Gillingham.

Huddersfield have picked up just five points on the road and sit eight points adrift of safety, with David Wagner's men needing to turn the tide sooner rather than later.

Can Wolves hunt another top-six scalp and dent Manchester City's title defence?

Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Craven Cottage
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo will be looking to blunt Manchester City's title ambitions on Monday. (Steven Paston/PA)

Wolves were promoted alongside Cardiff last season but have different ambitions.

They have already secured draws against Manchester City and Manchester United, won 3-1 at Tottenham and knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup last time out.

They host the champions at Molineux on Monday night and could prove to be another thorn in the side of Pep Guardiola's side, who will know the Liverpool result and what it means to their title ambitions.

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