Liverpool ’s first Premier League loss of the season against Watford may have a knock on effect for their chances in the FA Cup .
That is the view of former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy, who thinks Jurgen Klopp may now field an even weaker line up in their fifth round clash at Chelsea on Tuesday.
The Anfield club lost their first league game of the season on Saturday, putting an end to their chances of matching Arsenal ’s Invincibles by going unbeaten all season.
Klopp’s men are still massive favourites to win a first league title in 30 years, such is their massive lead over Manchester City , but defeat will hurt.
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Indeed, it was their first league loss in 44 games since a 2-1 loss at City in January last year.
And Murphy thinks Klopp may now change his thinking going into next Tuesday’s FA Cup trip to Stamford Bridge because he will want to field a strong team at home to Bournemouth in the Premier League next weekend.
“I can't pretend to know Jurgen Klopp's thinking but if Liverpool had beaten Watford, he might have picked a stronger team for their cup-tie at Chelsea on Tuesday, knowing he could then give some players a rest at home to Bournemouth on Saturday,” Murphy wrote in his column for the Daily Mail .
“His plans might change now. The Bournemouth game is important so that one blip doesn't extend into a run.
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“The famous front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane might be needed for Anfield next Saturday and then Atletico Madrid.
“Hence, the FA Cup tie could see a weakened line-up again, even if it reduces Liverpool's chances of winning the Treble.
“There will be head-scratching at how Liverpool lost, but we should not go overboard. Klopp was probably amazed their run of 26 wins in 27 games lasted as long as it did. It was unprecedented.
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“I’m a big fan of the leadership Jordan Henderson provides and the defensive qualities of Joe Gomez, but their absence can't be given as a main reason.
“This team have coped well with injuries all season. Maybe the winter break didn't have the desired effect because since they returned, they've scraped past Norwich and West Ham, lost to Atletico and now let in three at Watford.”
Liverpool are still 22 points clear of current Premier League champions City and need four more wins to claim the title.
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