Liverpool welcome Shrewsbury Town to Anfield tonight for their FA Cup fourth-round replay in a game where Neil Critchley and his U23s squad will take centre-stage.
Jurgen Klopp and the bulk of the first-team squad are on a break – as they had planned for the Premier League’s two-week reprieve – meaning it’s up to the club’s U23s to keep this season’s FA Cup journey alive.
Young Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher should start in goals for The Reds. In front of Kelleher, the excellent young right-back Neco Williams will form one-quarter of the back four. Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever are expected to form the central-defensive pairing with either Yasser Larouci or Adam Lewis at left-back. Larouci will undergo a late fitness test today to see if he is fit and available for selection.
Pedro Chirivella has impressed so far in this year’s FA Cup and the Spanish midfielder will get another chance tonight at Anfield. Alongside Chirivella, I expect Leighton Clarkson and Curtis Jones to make up the midfield trio.
The exciting wide-forward, Harvey Elliott, should start on the right of the front three. The other two frontmen could be Thomas Hill on the left and either Luis Longstaff or Joe Hardy through the middle.
Predicted Liverpool lineup (4-3-3) Vs Shrewsbury Town: Kelleher; Williams, Van den Berg, Hoever, Larouci; Chirivella, Clarkson, Jones; Elliott, Hardy, Hill
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