Chelsea will potentially face Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fifth round, while Wayne Rooney could come up against Manchester United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will play either Northampton or Derby. Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw by Shrewsbury Town on Sunday and must now beat the League One club in a replay at Anfield in order to progress.
However, Jurgen Klopp has caused controversy ahead of the replay by claiming that no first-team players will be available for the match, while he will be replaced on the touchline by the club’s under-23s coach Neil Critchley. The fourth round replays are currently scheduled for February 4 and 5, which means they will take place during the Premier League’s newly introduced winter break which runs from February 2 to February 16.
‘I said to the boys already two weeks ago that we will have a winter break, which means we will not be there,’ said Klopp.
‘You cannot deal with us like nobody cares about it. I know that it’s not very popular but that’s the way I see it.
‘The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break. That’s what we do. If the FA doesn’t respect that, then we cannot change it. We will not be there.’
Elsewhere, Manchester City travel to Sheffield Wednesday, while Arsenal face a trip to Portsmouth after they beat Bournemouth on Monday evening. Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham must beat Southampton in a replay to progress and they will face Premier League relegation battlers Norwich City in the next round. The eight ties will be played across three midweek evenings between March 3-5 and will have no replays.
(Text, excluding headline, courtesy of Metro)