| Friday, January 5th |
FA Cup | Anfield
7:55PM GMT/2:55PM EST
We know that Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah won’t play, even if we can only really be sure that Salah will be missing out due to a genuine injury. Beyond them, though, Jürgen Klopp has promised a strong lineup to face Everton in the FA Cup on Friday—and with Liverpool’s match against Manchester City not until nine days later, there’s no reason not to expect that.
Klopp and his players will also be looking for a measure of revenge after being held to a draw against Everton in the league last month, a game that Liverpool dominated by every conceivable metric and that their opponents created nothing in but that still managed to end in disappointment. Everton, though, have found their feet under Sam Allardyce since that match.
They may have been lucky to steal a point from Liverpool while defending poorly, creating nothing, and being dominated in possession, but should prove a tougher test this time out as they currently sit ninth in the league thanks to recent good results against Swansea and Chelsea. But it’s not all looking up for Everton—those good results have been balanced by poor ones against Bournemouth and Manchester United.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Robertson; Lallana, Can, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Loris Karius will start while Simon Mignolet takes a turn in the stands and Danny Ward is given a rare bench appearance. Meanwhile, in addition to Coutinho and Salah, there are continuing injury concerns surrounding Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Alberto Moreno, and Marko Grujic. Nathaniel Clyne remains a long-term, indefinite absence.
Adam Lallana looks close to full fitness, though, and Virgil van Dijk could be on the bench—though the £75M signing isn’t likely to start the game—while Sadio Mané will be a late decision as he’s expected to fly back from the Confederation of African Football awards ceremony in Accra later today. Given the confirmed absences of Coutinho and Salah, though, if he’s up to it he’s likely to start.
A strong lineup and a chance to advance in one of the two competitions Liverpool have a realistic hope of achieving silverware in this season, facing off against a local rival under the lights and with a chance at revenge. It should all add up to a cracking derby match.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “We want to have it and we know how desperate our supporters are to get something. We are exactly as greedy on things like this as they all are, but we have to prove it on the pitch—I cannot win the FA Cup in the press conference.”
Sam Allardyce: “It is a cup game, different from the Premier League. There is less pressure—it’s a glory game. You go out and seek the glory and try to win it. If we are to get through, we have to beat Liverpool. A draw is not good enough.”
Referee: Bobby Madley Assistants: Marc Perry, Adrian Holmes Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss
Kickoff is set for 7:55PM GMT/2:55PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.