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FA Cup fourth round: Manchester United vs Liverpool; When will the pain end?

Excruciatingly painful.

That describes the last five games for Liverpool and there are many reasons why.

The first and most obvious one is the performances, hence the results.

They have been flat with no spark and the most infuriating aspect is that every game has been so predictable.

It feels like we are watching the same game on a loop and it has led to the proud unbeaten league record at Anfield for the last three years to now not exist with Burnley winning on Thursday night.

Results are one thing, but this Liverpool side are on a run of performances that might be one of the worst in Klopp’s tenure, there has been no case of being too unlucky it has just been the case of being not good enough.

To reiterate the point there has been 87 shots at goal in the league since the last one went in, it has been poor all round from Liverpool.

A mixture of poor individual performances as well as not pulling it together as a group and the worst thing is one part of that group is badly missing which hurts most of all.

The fans in the stands, screaming shouting pulling those group of players over the line like they have done forever and not just the past few years.

Klopp orchestrates the fans in the stand, he knows when he has to call on them and against Burnley that would have 100% been one of those times.

The team needed a lift and couldn’t get one, unfortunately that won’t change anytime soon but one thing that can change are the performances and they need to quickly change for the trip to rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

It is difficult to hit the nail on the head on what needs to change as no one can really pinpoint what has gone wrong since that empathic 7-0 win against Crystal Palace.

Jurgen Klopp could be heard shouting at his players to ‘play football’ on Thursday and it could probably be heard from every household on Merseyside.

The constant long balls in behind a stubborn deep Burnley defence that were collected by Nick Pope and then cross after cross after cross that did not work but the players for some reason persisted was infuriating.

It may have been one of the best threats Liverpool have possessed over the last few years and still is but when something is not working in a game you need to have the common sense and nous to not keep on trying it.

A very famous quote from Albert Einstein says ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’ and it fits perfectly here as the consistent crossing left many supporters going insane.

If we see the same thing on Sunday it would be a terrible disappointment because it is Manchester United.

After the 0-0 in the league a win at their ground won be great and maybe the morale booster that the whole team needs, the boost that can be the catalyst for a winning run that is needed if Liverpool want any chance at the title because at this moment in time it is a top four race just like the first couple of years under Klopp.

The German seemed as angry and fed up as a lot of us at half-time against Burnley as he was arguing in the tunnel with Sean Dyche, unless he realised that every supporter was bored so it needed spicing up.

To be fair that alongside Joel Matip’s mad reaction to the challenge that nearly got Fabinho sent off were the highlights off the match, which says it all.

There were some changes to be expected before the Burnley game and they evidently didn’t work but whether it will be back to the strongest line-up for another round of England’s biggest sides going up against each other.

It would be good to see Takumi Minamino start the game as since his best game against Crystal Palace he still hasn’t started whereas Divock Origi got given his first start of the season in the league and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started on the wing which helps no one.

Apart from that a start for James Milner could be on the cards in midfield with Neco Williams potentially at right back due to Alexander-Arnold’s poor form.

Milner might be able to rally the troops even if he does not start and hopefully turn those Instagram captions which we are seeing every week turn into reality.

Tough patch but at least it gives us all something to debate in these times, they probably do not help us but oh well, the magic of the cup awaits.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Liverpool ONE Foundation issues last call for Mental Health Funding Programme applications

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