Shrewsbury Town vs. Liverpool
| Sunday, January 26th |
FA Cup | New Meadow
5PM GMT/12PM EST
The Magic of the FA Cup TM returns on Sunday when Klopp and the kids head to New Meadow to take on League One team Shrewsbury Town. With the match against West Ham taking place on Wednesday, it’s likely that Klopp will rely heavily on the Academy players to once again push them over the line.
In addition, though, Klopp could use this opportunity to give his handful of newly-returned players a run out. Naby Keita may be available after his injuries, so Klopp could consider this game a way for Keita to work himself back into shape. Fabinho is another player who has come on as a substitute in Liverpool’s last two matches, but may be available to start this time around, along with Joel Matip.
Liverpool are looking to break their terrible luck in the domestic cups this season while they stream roll the competition in the league. They haven’t made it past this round of the FA Cup in five years, but stand a good chance of advancing on Sunday. Shrewsbury currently sit 16th in the League One table, so Liverpool are heavy favourites to make it through, no matter who they put out on the pitch.
Shrewsbury Town have failed to win any of their last five games, but they’ll be all in on hosting this televised glamour match against the European Champions and current Premier League leaders. In terms of motivation, however, the academy will be vying to catch the manager’s eye the way that Jones did against Everton.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Adrian; Williams, Matip, Van der Berg, Larouci; Fabinho, Jones, Chirivella; Elliott, Origi, Minamino
Sadio Mane limped off the pitch against Wolves on Thursday, so there is no way that Klopp will risk playing him in this match. Dejan Lovren and poor Xherdan Shaqiri still won’t be ready yet either.
Adrian is certain to get another game in Alisson’s place, and newly-minted Reds cult hero Curtis Jones should be back on the pitch after scoring the winner in the third round of the competition against Everton.
Sam Ricketts has a fully fit team to choose from, all of whom haven’t played since January 18th.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “We will have a team with fresh legs,” said the boss. “We have players who came back from injury, so it makes sense to play them because they are pretty good and we want to go through. Now we are qualified for the round we want to go through and we know it’s a tough place to go, how it always is in cup competitions.”
Sam Ricketts: “They play two games a week all season but for us the FA Cup is everything. It’s historic. We all grew up watching it with the hairs on our neck standing up. It provides amazing memories and opportunities.”
Referee: Andre Marriner Assistant Referees: Dan Cook & Stuart Burt Fourth Official: Oliver Langford
Kickoff is set for 5PM GMT/12PM 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.