Liverpool (9/4 – FA Cup outright) boss Jurgen Klopp insists his side will not be fixating on next month’s FA Cup semi-final tie with Manchester City.
The Reds were made to work hard for their place in the last four, as a Diogo Jota strike 12 minutes from time saw them overcome Championship promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest 1-0 at the City Ground on Sunday evening.
That victory has set up a semi-final clash with Pep Guardiola’s City (11/8 – FA Cup outright), who saw off Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s Stadium earlier on Sunday – Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez scoring the goals for the Premier League leaders.
The match is scheduled to take place at Wembley on April 16th, less than a week after the two teams will have also met in a potential league decider at the Etihad Stadium (Premier League outright – City 4/9, Liverpool 13/8).
City were sitting well clear at the top of the league standings just a few weeks ago, but the Reds have closed the gap down to just a solitary point following a nine-match winning run, meaning the clash at the Etihad could go a long way to deciding the destination of the title.
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Despite this, Klopp is refusing to get fixated on the double-header with City, with Liverpool set to face a crucial April that will also see them play both legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Benfica, as well as face derby clashes with Manchester United and Everton in the league.
“We have Watford, Benfica, City, Benfica, City, United, Everton (after the international break),” Klopp told reporters after the victory over Forest.
“From a Liverpool perspective these are all massive games and we try to play them one at a time and not all together.
“I don’t think we are the dream draw for anyone, but it will be a tough tie and we have to make sure it will be tough for City as well. But there are a lot of games to play before that.”
The other FA Cup semi-final tie will also take place at Wembley 24 hours after Liverpool’s clash with City, as Chelsea (5/2 – to win FA Cup) will come up against Crystal Palace (11/1).
Chelsea booked their place in the last four for the fifth time in six seasons with a 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday, while Palace thrashed a hapless Everton 4-0 at Selhurst Park in Sunday’s early kick-off.
Marc Guehi, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Wilfried Zaha and Will Hughes got the goals for the Eagles, who are now just one game away from reaching a first FA Cup final since 2016, while Everton’s (9/4 – to be relegated) sole focus is now on the battle to retain their top-flight status.
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