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Klopp says Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final has no bearing on Benfica line-up

Liverpool (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted a looming FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City will have no impact on his team selection for Wednesday’s Champions League tie at home to Benfica.

Last weekend the Reds, still in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies in the one season, drew 2-2 with City to remain just a point behind the Premier League leaders.

They will face City again in the last four of the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday but before then the six-time kings of Europe face Benfica in the second leg of a Champions League quarter-final at Anfield.

Liverpool, who beat Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out to win the English League Cup final at Wembley in February, have a healthy 3-1 lead following the first leg in Portugal, which has led to speculation Klopp could rest key players with an eye to the FA Cup tie.

But the German boss, speaking at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday, insisted: “The next game has no influence on the line-up for tomorrow but the last game has.

“Super intense schedule. No one injured as far as I know but we need to look at who is freshest.”

Klopp added: “A super important game (against Benfica). We tried so hard to get to the Champions League and now we can make it to semis.”

Klopp, asked how Liverpool would approach the tie against Benfica, replied: “It’s 3-1 at half-time, it’s as tricky as 2-0. A good basis, but if they score one — like we felt against Inter — the game changes.

“We felt it when they scored last week. We really need to make them feel this is a place they don’t want to go.”

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