Jurgen Klopp will make a controversial selection choice against Watford – no matter what he chooses to do.
The Reds face Watford on Saturday, away from home and in a game Klopp sees as tough. They also, however, face a game away at Chelsea on Tuesday.
Given that game against Chelsea is also one week before the Atletico Madrid return – with Bournemouth sandwiches in between – Klopp will have to manage his squad.
So Klopp has to make a choice against Watford on who to play there and who plays on Tuesday. Usually, the Chelsea game would undoubtedly demand the strongest team.
But it’s in the FA Cup, which muddies the water quite a lot.
That’s because Klopp has never really put out his strongest team in the FA Cup. Usually, Liverpool exit the cup quite early but even this season, he played a very young team against Everton in the Third Round.
So there’s certainly no guarantee that Klopp will prioritise that game in any way. In fact, he may see it as the opposite – a week’s rest for his key players ahead of Atletico.
But then there’s the strange situation of Liverpool actually valuing wins in the cup higher than in the league. Because Liverpool are virtually at the point where they can lose every game and still win the title.
It depends on the overall priority, then and that’s why it’ll be controversial. Is the ultimate goal here to go unbeaten in the league or break the points record? If so, then prioritising Watford makes sense.
But what about the Treble? If Liverpool want to win every major trophy and become only the second English side to do so, then they need to take that Chelsea game seriously. The Blues will beat them if they don’t.
Fans will inevitably have different priorities and so Klopp can’t really win with his choice. If Liverpool do come out of both games with wins then that’s quite incredible and the miracle season continues.
But that will require taking a big risk in one of them as the game are just too close together. Deciding which game to take that risk is Klopp’s unenviable choice.