FA Cup: Chelsea boss Lampard expecting strong Liverpool team

Liverpool has made major changes to its team in cup competitions this season but Frank Lampard expects to see the Reds' star names.

Frank Lampard thinks Chelsea has a tough task against Liverpool.

Frank Lampard thinks Chelsea has a tough task against Liverpool.   -  Getty Images

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard expects Liverpool to name a strong side for the teams' FA Cup fifth-round tie at Stamford Bridge and believes the Reds' shock 3-0 defeat to Watford could make the match even harder.

Liverpool played its under-23 team in the fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury Town and left out all of its star names in the third-round win over Everton, as well as making huge changes throughout its EFL Cup campaign.

But with the FA Cup now at the last-16 stage, Chelsea is planning for a Liverpool starting XI that resembles its Premier League selections as Jurgen Klopp's men look to bounce back from their first top-flight defeat this season.

Read | Klopp calls for Liverpool to 'restart' after unbeaten run ended

"We would expect Liverpool to put out a strong team, I presume they will play their strongest team, there or thereabouts," Lampard said at his pre-match news conference.

"We know whatever team they put out they will give us a very strong match. We have to play with a big spirit and we will have to be at our best.

"Their defeat against Watford won't make it any easier for us. With the type of manager and players that they have it can be a wake-up call in a good way as well. It depends how you take it.

"When you look at them they look like a team of fantastic professionals with a manager who is very driven. So things like that can make this game even harder for us.

"They became relatively human for one game, that can happen in this Premier League which is incredibly competitive. It shows how well they have done in the last year or so, especially this season."

Lampard is still without injured quartet Christian Pulisic, N'Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham, with Andreas Christensen also a major doubt after sustaining a minor issue and Ruben Loftus-Cheek instead playing for the under-23s on Monday.

He was giving little away about his own team selection, although he confirmed goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was in contention for a return.

"We will field a team that gives everything to get into the next round against a very strong Liverpool team," said Lampard.

Read | How Premier League's longest unbeaten runs ended  

"The team I put out should give everything to compete with Liverpool, as we have done twice this season. We've competed very well against them and were probably unfortunate to lose on both occasions.

"So we have to approach it with the same spirit. We want to win it [the FA Cup] but winning something is usually a phrase that has gone out of the Premier League unless you are Manchester City or Liverpool, pretty much, in the last couple of years.

"They have made so many strides and gone out on their own slightly so we have to understand that the landscape has changed and try to bridge the gap. 

"Yes, Kepa [is in contention]. He has been professional as expected, trained well and kept his head down, supporting the team and the group. He has been good, but I say the same every week as I get asked this every week."

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