Jurgen Klopp insists likes of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk will not play FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury
Liverpool manager unhappy that replay against third-tier side is scheduled in the same week as the Premier League break
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that the likes of first-team players Mohamed Salah, Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk will not be involved in their FA Cup fourth-round replay with third-tier Shrewsbury Town next month because it clashes with the Premier League break.
Klopp's second-string side were forced into a replay after being held third-tier Shrewsbury on Sunday with the Premier League leaders letting slip a two-goal lead at New Meadow.
The Reds have not reached the fifth round of English football's oldest cup competition since the German took charge in October 2015.
Despite a calm finish from 18-year-old Curtis Jones to open the scoring on 15 minutes, Liverpool never settled as Shrewsbury missed a host of chances to level before the break.
A freak own goal from Donald Love then doubled the visitors' lead a minute into the second half, but the Shrews did not give up on their shot at shocking the European champions and were given a lifeline when substitute Jason Cummings converted a penalty.
Cummings then sent New Meadow into raptures by slotting low under Adrian 15 minutes from time.
Shrewsbury's players and fans celebrated wildly at the prospect of a trip to Anfield, but Klopp certainly wasn't.
The new Premier League winter break means all clubs will have a blank weekend. Liverpool, who lead the table by a 16 points, would have had no league game between facing Southampton on February 1 and Norwich City on February 15.
Now they will host Shrewsbury in the week beginning February 3.
"In April 2019, we got a letter from the Premier League where they asked us to respect the winter break, not to organise friendlies and not to organise competitive games in respect of it," Klopp told reporters.
"I have said to the boys already, two weeks ago, that we will have a winter break, so it means we will not be there - it will be the kids who play that game because they cannot deal with us like nobody cares about it.
"I know it is not very popular, but that's the way I see it. The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break and that's what we'll do. If then the FA do not respect it then we cannot change. But we will not be there."
Liverpool's Under 23s coach Neil Critchley would manage the team in that game, Klopp said.
Critchley took charge of the League Cup quarter-final tie against Aston Villa this season when Liverpool's first team squad were in Qatar for the World Club Cup. Villa won that match 5-0 while the first-team went on to be crowned world champions.
Klopp, who is in favour of scrapping cup replays, said: "It's about players' welfare and they need a rest - mental rest, physical rest," he said.
"That's what the winter break is about and then another competition tells us it's not that important. We had to make these decisions before because the boys have family and the international players like Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, all these guys they never have time off."
Updated: January 27, 2020 09:43 AM