LIVERPOOL VS. SHREWSBURY TOWN
| Sunday, January 9th |
FA Cup Third Round | Anfield
2PM GMT/9AM EST
The news out of Liverpool is that the Reds hope to have manager Jürgen Klopp back in the dugout on Sunday when they welcome Shrewsbury Town for the third round of the FA Cup. The manager has been in isolation following a positive Covid test. Should he be unable to attend, Peter Krawietz will take over his duties.
It’s hard to say which players will feature in Sunday’s match, but it’s safe to say that it will be a mix of senior players and youth team members who battle it out in the FA Cup. Alisson Becker, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Curtis Jones and Roberto Firmino have all completed their isolation period, but it’s unknown whether they will be picked for this match or saved for midweek for the re-scheduled League Cup semi-final first leg match against Arsenal.
Shrewsbury Town have currently crawled their way into 14th place in League One after languishing in the relegation zone in early December. The team is unbeaten in their last four, a direct inverse of Liverpool’s current form. Most recently, Shrewsbury Town notched a 1-0 victory against Sheffield Wednesday. They’ve also somehow mostly avoided the virus picking off other English teams, which may have contributed to their recent strong showings.
Unfortunately for them, they’re likely to be down one of their key players. Daniel Odoh went off injured against Sheffield Wednesday, and it’s doubtful he’ll be ready to play on Sunday. The Nirgerian international has scored three goals in the last four games and has been a huge contributor to the team’s positive results.
Liverpool have a poor FA Cup record in recent years. They haven’t made it past the fifth round since 2014-15 even as they’ve flourished in other competitions. Liverpool fans will remember that Shrewsbury in particular gave the team a hard time in 2020 when they forced a replay in the fourth round of the competition.
The AXA Training Centre re-opened on Friday after closing due to Covid concerns. I remains to be seen whether the players will be well rested and ready to fight or still weakened from the mass sickness that ravaged the team.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Bradley, Gomez, Konate, Robertson; Jones, Morton, Milner; Gordon, Firmino, Minamino
Minamino has been Liverpool’s domestic cup star this season, so expect him fighting up front. Similarly, if Divock Origi is fit and available, he’ll be in the running as well. Andy Robertson has also completed his three match red card ban, and so he’ll likely get a chance to stretch his legs for this one.
Alisson’s isolation is complete, so he should be back in goal. However, if he’s not ready, Liverpool may have the surreal experience of seeing Loris Karius on the pitch for the first time in years.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can also be in the line-up on Sunday, either in the midfield or up front.
Tom Bloxham is back from a three match ban for Shrewsbury Town, but Daniel Odoh is doubtful after going off injured against Wednesday.
What the Managers Had to Say
Peter Krawietz: “Can we expect the perfect set-up for tomorrow? No of course we can’t, but we can always show the right and perfect reaction to what is happening on the pitch.”
Steve Cotterill: “We just have to prepare the team as we would. We have great respect for Liverpool Football Club, they’ve had some brilliant players, some have come through the system and done well and others have been experienced.”
Referee: David Coote Assistants: Nick Hopton & Shaun Hudson Fourth official: Geoff Eltringham VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR:Sian Massey-Ellis
Kickoff is set for 2PM GMT/9AM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.