Phil Thompson: Jordan Henderson remains a massive miss as Liverpool face Chelsea
Super 6 fixtures: Chelsea vs Liverpool; Reading vs Sheffield United; West Brom vs Newcastle; Ipswich vs Fleetwood; Exeter vs Crewe; Plymouth vs Grimsby
Last Updated: 02/03/20 6:08pm
Phil Thompson has made his Super 6 selections for Tuesday's FA Cup and EFL games. Predict all six scorelines to win £250,000...
Thommo is expecting Liverpool to field a strengthened FA Cup side and respond to their first Premier League loss of the season, but who else is he backing and what are you tipping in the free-to-play game? There's £250,000 for the taking so get your scores in now!
THOMMO PREDICTS: Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool (10/1 with Sky Bet)
What happened at Watford?
First of all, you have to give credit to Watford, who played well when they came to Anfield and probably felt hard done by. They could have got something out of that game in December (Liverpool won 2-0), but it will have been a similar tactic for Nigel Pearson in this one. His side thoroughly deserved it. It was one of those games where one of two things could happen. The bigger team has an off day or Watford play to their potential - and that is when the banana skin can happen.
I think everybody who watched the game could see Liverpool were not at it, and it was complacency. It is not having a go - it is just saying that all of these top teams go into these games and are a bit blasé about it, especially at this time of year when these clubs at the bottom of the league are fighting for their lives.
Since the winter break, Liverpool have not been great at all. The words on the lips of a lot of Liverpool fans was that they have been waiting for this to happen. Against Norwich, it was not great, but they won. The game against West Ham was not good, but they just won again. Maybe a lot of fans felt they got away with it in those games, but then you revert to the fact that this is how teams win the league, winning when you are not playing well. You are always worried that there is one of those results around the corner.
On the trip to Chelsea
A response is needed, but Jurgen Klopp will probably go with a mixture of youth and experience. He will not play a proper first team, but with the bench as of late, you can see there is a lot of quality coming back in. I said some weeks ago that some of the fringe players needed games, as you may need them as the season progresses. You could see that in Dejan Lovren's performance at Watford. He looked very rusty and you could see he needed games to get up to speed.
When you have been out of the team for a long time or injured, you are rusty and you need games. The Chelsea game is ideal. I think it will be a mixture of those players who were on the bench against Watford - I think Lovren should play and Joel Matip will come in. If Naby Keita is OK, he should be back in, so Klopp will be looking at them all. Adrian will start at Stamford Bridge. The young lads like Neco Williams at right-back and Yasser Larouci at left-back will play. Curtis Jones and possibly Harvey Elliott will feature too, so that is the making of a decent team.
I think Chelsea will go quite strong. Frank Lampard will want to win a trophy in his first year, so he might go a bit stronger than what Klopp does to go after the FA Cup. A lot of his makeup is made up of youngsters anyway, so it will be interesting. It will be a good game. Liverpool have got the monkey off their back now with all the talk of the 'Invincibles'. That was only a bit of a bonus for me. My main thing is to get the Premier League done and wrapped up. That is what is on my mind.
Henderson a massive miss
The last two games have shown the importance of Jordan Henderson to this side. Not only what he brings as a midfield player, but he would have been demanding a lot more from the players on the pitch, talking to them controlling them, and asking more from their performances. He is the leader and has the presence on the pitch so Liverpool are missing him at the minute.
The departing Neil Critchley
The Carabao Cup games, specifically the one against Aston Villa, and the FA Cup match against Everton was a great showcase for Neil - this all included how he adapted, how he changed his team, and his quality and style of play was quite evident.
That will have put him in the minds of potential owners and chairmen of clubs for a manager's position. I quite admire Neil, as he could have said he was staying at Liverpool for the long-term, if he wanted it, but he is ambitious, he wants to give it a go on his own, and he has had a fantastic tutor in Klopp. He has seen how he works, and how the team has played in those games have been very typical of the Liverpool way.
He might have been a good coach beforehand, but learning off Klopp will have only have bolstered him. At Blackpool, this will be completely different. He will try to adapt, and I think you have to. He has to believe in his own ability that he can do it on his own. I wish him good luck!
Super stat: Lightning to strike twice?
Liverpool have already won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge this season. Thommo is not the only one predicting this scoreline, with 33 per cent backing the same scoreline. Will you go against the grain, with £250k up for grabs? Play for free.
Thommo's Round 47 Predictions:
Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool
Reading 0-2 Sheffield United
West Brom 1-1 Newcastle
Ipswich 1-2 Fleetwood
Exeter 2-2 Crewe
Plymouth 3-0 Grimsby