Liverpool Vs Shrewsbury Town FA Cup Preview - Reds' youngsters tasked with FA Cup replay assignment
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Andrew Madley
Date & Time – Tuesday, February 4th @ 19:45
Current Odds – Liverpool 21/20, Draw 3/1, Shrewsbury Town 21/10
Liverpool failed to hold onto a two-goal lead at New Meadow in the first game. Now, with the controversy of Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the first-team to take their break, as scheduled, The Reds face into a replay against the League One side with the U23s squad and manager ready to fill in.
The last run-out for Liverpool’s U23s in a ‘senior’ fixture ended in a 5-0 defeat for the youngsters at Villa Park in the League Cup clash in December.
While Jurgen Klopp’s men continued on the road to a 19th league title with a 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, that squad will not be involved in this FA Cup replay clash on Tuesday night. The first-team squad are on their planned break for a week. Thus, judging ‘form’ for this game is a non-runner.
Shrewsbury Town Form
Since drawing 2-2 with Liverpool, Shrewsbury Town have lost two league games without scoring a goal. They went down 2-0 at Gillingham followed by a 1-0 defeat at Rochdale on Saturday. No doubt, minds were probably on the upcoming trip to Anfield and the very real possibility of progressing to the fifth round of this season’s FA Cup.
Shrewsbury are still 16th in League One but with a 12-point gap between them and the relegation zone, they should be safe from the drop for this season. Looking up the table, they are 13 points off a playoff place so, as it stands, a mid-table/bottom-half finish is likely for Sam Rickett’s side in League One come May.
Liverpool Team News
We can only base our predictions for this Liverpool lineup off the League Cup lineup at Aston Villa, along with some other players who played a part in the first game against Shrewsbury.
Neco Williams, Yasser Larouci, Pedro Chirivella, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott will be some of the side’s more ‘experienced’ players on Tuesday night, should they be involved.
Caoimhin Kelleher could deputise in place of Adrian because of the planned break for the senior players, even though Adrian was Klopp’s preferred FA Cup goalkeeper for this season.
Shrewsbury Town Team News
Jason Cummings could have played his way into a starting spot at Anfield thanks to his two-goal cameo appearance in the first game. Other than that, I think Sam Ricketts may stick with a familiar starting lineup for Salop.
It’s a 3-5-2 formation Ricketts prefers but this can drop back to be a 5-3-2 shape when out of possession.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Kelleher; Williams, Hoever, Van den Berg, Larouci; Clarkson, Chirivella, Jones; Elliot, Longstaff, Hill
Shrewsbury Town XI (3-5-2) – O’Leary; Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre; Love, Laurent, Norburn, Goss, Golbourne; Cummings, Udoh
When they last met
The first game finished 2-2 at New Meadow on January 26th. Curtis Jones gave Liverpool a first-half lead before an unfortunate Donald Love own-goal put The Reds 2-0 up early in the second half. Super-sub Jason Cummings brought Shrewsbury back into the game, however, earning a replay with two goals after coming.
LIVERPOOL 2 – 3 SHREWSBURY TOWN
This is likely to be the end of the road for The Reds in this season’s FA Cup. Shrewsbury Town will be buoyed by their comeback in the first game. They also know this is a huge opportunity to make the fifth round of the FA Cup – something they’ve only managed once in the last 29 years (2015/16).
It will be another chance for Neil Critchley’s U23s to learn and grow as players but I don’t think they’ll have enough to get the win over Shrewsbury on this occasion.