Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was brutal in his assessment of Aston Villa’s team problems ahead of their FA Cup clash tonight. Villa are without their entire first team and reserve players after a huge coronavirus outbreak at their training base.
A mixture of under-23 and under-18 players have been called up to represent the first team.
It could have offered Liverpool the chance to rest some of their senior stars but Klopp was brutal with his team selection.
Forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were selected in the starting XI, alongside Barcelona target Gini Wijnaldum.
Klopp was asked by BT sport if he had any sympathy for Villa and he puffed out his cheeks before explaining: “Sympathy? Do they need it?
“I think for the boys it is nice they can play first and foremost. I spoke yesterday to Dean Smith, they are fine and of course we wish them all well to come back to quickly.
“We couldn’t change it last year, they couldn’t change it this year, that is how it is.
“We want to go to the next round and prepare for the rest of the season. Not sure what the scenario they say it is brilliant for Liverpool, but we just go out and play.”
Klopp also described the moment he was told about Villa’s coronavirus problems.
He added: “Yesterday we were analysing in the meeting, then someone opened the door and said ‘Villa have some problems, we are not sure what’.
“We continued with the meeting, two mins later, ‘a lot of first team players are out’. We continued with the meeting, we carried on, then we heard the situation after training.
“Of course it impacted the situation, as we didn’t know who were playing, but that is it. [The team is] exactly [the plan]. That was the intention, the line up we made and after training with as much as Villa could tell us, so we didn’t change the team. That was the team anyway.”
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