Liverpool vs Norwich
| Wednesday, March 2nd |
FA Cup | Anfield
8:15PM BST / 3:15PM EST
With the first trophy of the year collected, Liverpool have a chance to take a big step towards a second one on Wednesday, as they take on Premier League bottom dwellers Norwich at Anfield.
The Canaries are having a rough time of it this season, with the sacking of long-time manager Daniel Farke not leading to marked improvements in results, and the Norfolk outfit remain stapled to the bottom of the table on 17 points, with many of the teams in front of them having one or more games in hand.
Liverpool have not been a kind opponent to Norwich in recent years either, and having already dispatched of them on their way to the Carabao Cup final, the Reds can make it four wins over the Canaries this season, as many as Dean Smith’s men have managed in the Premier League all year.
Tomorrow’s visitors have fitness struggles to deal with as well, and will likely miss former Red Ozan Kabak and Adam Idah, while Brandon Williams and Max Aarons looks set to be match-day decisions.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Kelleher; Gomez, Matip, Konaté, Tsimikas; Henderson, Jones, Elliott; Minamino, Origi, Salah
With Jürgen Klopp sticking with Caoimhin Kelleher for the entirety of the team’s successful League Cup run, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Irishman between the sticks again tomorrow, as he has featured in both FA Cup fixtures this season as well.
At the back, though, expect wholesale changes, and starting berths for Ibrahima Konaté, Kostas Tsimikas and Joe Gomez are plausible, with the latter sliding into Trent Alexander Arnold’s right fullback spot. With Nat Phillips going to Bournemouth in January, one of Virgil van Dijk and Joël Matip will likely be retained in the centre of defence.
Thiago will miss at least a week with the hamstring issue he picked up during Sunday’s pre-match warm-up, but otherwise Klopp has a full midfield contingent to pick from, and fitness will be the determining factor. Fabinho played 120 minutes at the weekend and should be rested, so Jordan Henderson anchoring behind two of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain feels probable.
Up top, Roberto Firmino remains unavailable with a hamstring injury, and Diogo Jota’s swollen ankle definitely appeared to impede him somewhat on Sunday, so considering all the minutes played recently among Luis Díaz, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, it is unlikely more than one of the three will feature from kick-off, with Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino in line for start.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “We will play a side we have faced already and had some problems. We have to make changes because we played 120 minutes so we will see who will do that better.”
Dean Smith: “Liverpool are a wonderful team, we know that, but we’ll certainly take confidence from the games that we’ve already played in the cup and also against Liverpool last week.“
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistant referees: Stuart Burt, Nick Hopton
Fourth official: Michael Dean
VAR: John Brook, Marc Perry
Kickoff is set for 8:15PM GMT/3:15PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, 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.