Liverpool to Continue Quadruple Push against Norwich City
Liverpool host Norwich City in the FA Cup Fourth Round at Anfield on Sunday, off the back of the news that Jurgen Klopp will leave the club at the end of the season. It will undoubtedly be a strange atmosphere on Merseyside, but hopefully, the fans will get behind the team as usual.
With several key players expected to be rested in this one, Sunday’s lineup could be nearly impossible to predict. A number of academy prospects are expected to receive minutes on Sunday, with the likes of Bobby Clark and Conor Bradley impressing lately.
Klopp’s Youthful Defence:
Caoimhin Kelleher is expected to remain between the sticks after a decent performance against Fulham on Wednesday night. This will give Alisson Becker extra time to rest ahead of two crucial Premier League games against Chelsea and Arsenal.
Jarrell Quansah will also keep his place at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, whilst Virgil Van Dijk will be rested. The obvious replacement would be Ibou Konate, who missed out against Fulham but I still struggle to see him play three crucial games in the space of three days. Instead, Rhys Williams could make a rare appearance after having his loan spell at Aberdeen cut short.
Youngsters Conor Bradley and Owen Beck will likely partner each other at full-back. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson continue their return to fitness. Joe Gomez will also be given a rare rest after a long run in the side.
Huge Opportunities in the Midfield:
Alexis Mac Allister will likely be rested on Sunday after a run of impressive performances at the base of the midfield. Youngster James McConnell could receive a rare start due to the absence of Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic and Wataru Endo.
Ahead of him, Ryan Gravenberch will be given an opportunity to prove his worth after a frustrating run of games for the 21-year-old. Alongside him, another academy graduate in Bobby Clark will start after looking promising from the bench as of late.
Mac Allister and Curtis Jones will be the most notable midfielders on the Liverpool bench if needed.
Make-Shift Front Line:
After a surprise exclusion from the lineup on Wednesday, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Diogo Jota start this one. Darwin Nunez will likely drop to the bench in Jota’s place.
Harvey Elliott will again try to fill the void left by Mohamed Salah on the right-hand side of Liverpool’s attack.
Cody Gakpo will make up the final place in Liverpool’s front three, looking to continue his impressive form in domestic competitions this season.
I expect to see Kaide Gordon receive some minutes on Sunday but will miss out on the starting XI.
Starting XI: Kelleher, Bradley, Williams, Quansah, Beck, McConnell, Gravenberch, Clark, Elliott, Jota, Gakpo
Bench: Alisson, Konate, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Mac Allister, Jones, Nunez, Diaz, Gordon