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Fan rant of the day: The time is now or never for Liverpool to take advantage of being knocked out of the domestic cups

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Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp might not like the FA Cup after another early exit this season. The German saw Liverpool getting knocked out by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round, but we did play an experimental side.

Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge leading the line would not have scared too many Premier League defences.

Speaking of our defence, only Dejan Lovren was a first-team defender before he had to leave due to injury.

Our back four consisted of Alberto Moreno, Fabinho and two youngsters, and Wolves didn’t really tear us apart.

All in all, this is another trophy that Klopp won’t be winning this season, but even with an elimination, there is something to look forward to for Liverpool.

The Premier League is our priority

The Reds were handed the toughest draw in the third round out of the big six Premier League sides. Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea were given lower league opposition and it would not come as a surprise that they all won easily.

Klopp didn’t field his strongest side and I believe this decision was right given that the FA Cup is a hindrance at the moment for the team.

The tournament has a rich history and we last won it in 2006, but given our position now, the Premier League and Champions League should be our two targets all the time.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool

Not making it to the Champions League regularly hurts a team not only due to the loss in earnings but the fact that we cannot play the best teams in Europe. Our UEFA coefficient also takes a hammering and we end up in tough groups every season, this season, in particular, was a nightmare.

The Premier League is the holy grail that every Liverpool fan craves and we have a decent lead despite losing to Manchester City recently.

A four-point gap isn’t enough to celebrate now, but the Reds have been fantastic for most of the Premier League campaign, and we should start as favourites for our clash against Brighton, even if we are coming from two consecutive losses.

Virgil van Dijk in training

Our first-team was more or less rested against Wolves, and the only concern is in the centre-back spot with Fabinho playing in the heart of the defence in the FA Cup.

The loss in the third round of the FA Cup is a downer but the Reds can plan for the Premier League and Champions League games without any distractions.

Liverpool are expected to make it to the semis/final of the tournament every year, and every time we are hit with disappointment, however, there is a chance for our team to stay fresh and keep chugging along.

For example, the fourth round of the tournament is scheduled between 25 to 28 January, Liverpool face Crystal Palace at home on 19 Jan and Leicester City on 30 Jan.

If we had a cup tie in between, there would be more pressure on the players, and of course, we would be slaughtered should we have lost that game too.

Roberto Firmino and Andy Robertson

Roberto Firmino and Andy Robertson

Liverpool have at least five days (on average) between games till the end of the season. This would change if we make it into the quarter-finals of the Champions League and beyond, but it is imperative we stay fresh and ready for the final onslaught.

City and Spurs are involved in both domestic cups, and the Carabao Cup semi-final is a two legged affair, which will test their freshness and squad depth.

The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum have barely been given a rest this season, and the lack of domestic cup games is a huge bonus.

Read more: “This is a blessing in disguise” – Some Liverpool fans remain upbeat despite 2-1 FA Cup exit at the hands of Wolves

It is up to Klopp and the team to make this count, and hopefully, our lack of domestic cup success is overcome by a bigger triumph this season.

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“It’ll be the first time in my life!”: This Liverpool star will be rooting for Man United in the game against Man City

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Latest Liverpool news: James Milner to support Man United against City?

Liverpool star James Milner will become a Manchester United fan for the first time on Wednesday when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side take on Manchester City in the Premier League. (h/t the Daily Mail)

Born in Leeds, he won two titles in his five-year stay at Manchester City and could soon become a Liverpool legend. Hence, it’s tough to see the 33-year-old cheer for the Red Devils in the upcoming Manchester derby.

United could do a favour for Liverpool on Wednesday by stopping Manchester City, who are two points adrift of the league leaders, although they have played a game less.

James Milner Liverpool

That extra game is against United at Old Trafford on Wednesday and if Solskjaer’s side manage to even eke out a draw, Liverpool will have their destiny back in their hands before their final hurdle against Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves.

“It’ll be the first time in my life!” Milner replied when asked if he was comfortable watching United win the derby against City, reports the Daily Mail.

“I don’t watch (games like these), to be honest. It’s a bit of a waste of energy, isn’t it, willing the ball into the goal and things like that. I can’t do anything about it.

“Maybe I’ll put my phone away for a couple of hours and check it after. Maybe I’ll go and grab some food or whatever. There are three games left. United will be a challenge for City, but it’s the old cliché – any game is tough in the Premier League no matter who you play.”

Given United players’ confidence are at rock bottom following the Everton thrashing, it looks tough to see them stop City. We cannot expect a favour from our rivals, who themselves are eyeing a top-four finish.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

Klopp’s men have to win their last three games and hope City drop points in any of their last four games.

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Former Ireland striker urges Liverpool to make transfer move for 26-year-old PL hitman

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Liverpool FC transfer news: Tony Cascarino tips Jurgen Klopp to sign Zaha

Liverpool could be set to sign Crystal Palace star in the upcoming summer transfer window.

This is the opinion of former Ireland striker Tony Cascarino who has backed the Reds to sign Wilfried Zaha following his comments. (h/t The Daily Mirror)

Wilfried Zaha, 26, shone in Crystal Palace’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. He scored the Eagles’ second goal of the game and was a constant pest to Arsenal’s backline who simply couldn’t cope with his pace and smart movement.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Tony Cascarino spoke about the Ivorian winger and his recent comments about wanting to play in the Champions League. He also spotted something that suggests Jurgen Klopp could make a move for the Crystal Palace star in the summer.

“Well, all of the top-six now are playing attack-minded football,” Cascarino told talkSPORT. (h/t The Daily Mirror)

“Liverpool played Palace last year and I went to the game and Jurgen Klopp was consistently on Alexander-Arnold about Wilf Zaha, you could see it from the sideline.

“I kept thinking after that game, Klopp really does respect Zaha as a player and he knows how dangerous he is. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him at Liverpool, but he could do a job for any of the top-six.”

Do Liverpool need Zaha?

Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool

Zaha is seen as one of the best players playing outside the so-called ‘big six’ teams in the league. He has successfully managed to revive his career at Palace after enduring a torrid spell with Manchester United.

At Liverpool, I don’t see him getting regular opportunities under Klopp. Sadio Mane is an undoubted starter in the team and he operates from the left flank, which is basically Zaha’s position at Selhurst Park.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

Even if Klopp feels like buying an attacking player in the summer, his focus should be on bringing an out-and-out number 9.

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Liverpool enter three-way tussle with PL rivals for this 21-year-old defensive beast

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Liverpool FC transfer news: Liverpool keen on Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui

Liverpool are set to battle it out with rivals Manchester United and Arsenal for the signature of Ajax starlet Noussair Mazraoui, reports Spanish outlet Marca. (h/t Sport Witness)

Noussair Mazraoui, 21, has established himself as one of the mainstays of Erik ten Hag’s hugely-impressive Ajax side that has knocked out the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League to advance to the semi-finals of the competition this season.

A graduate of the hugely famed Ajax academy, the Dutch-born Moroccan has shown a lot of maturity this season, even though he made his first-team debut last term. The 21-year-old defender has supplied four goals and as many assists in all competitions, thus attracting the attention of some of Europe’s top clubs, including the aforementioned Premier League trio.

Noussair Mazraoui will be a good fit at Anfield

Noussair Mazraoui has shown that not only can he perform in the Eredivisie, but also on the bigger stage, i.e. the Champions League. His performances this season certainly belie his age and all credit to Ten Hag for showing immense faith in the young Moroccan.

Liverpool certainly can do well with the signing of Mazraoui. Trent Alexander-Arnold has been a regular fixture at right-back for the Reds since the last two seasons.

Alexander-Arnold has battled it out with James Milner at right-back but with the former England international turning 33 this year and Joe Gomez preferred in central defence, our academy graduate needs solid competition from next season.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

That’s where the signing of Mazraoui would make sense for the Reds. Not only will the 21-year-old compete with Alexander-Arnold for the right-back spot but also will add depth to our squad. Thus, we need to beat the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal for the Ajax starlet’s signature.

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