Liverpool will host Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night at Anfield in their FA Cup fourth-round replay. The first encounter between the teams ended in 2-2 draw thanks to a spirited second-half comeback by the Shrews.
The big talking point heading into the match is Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool’s first-team not being in attendance for the fixture. The Reds manager has given his team the week off due to the Premier League winter break. Klopp’s decision has caused plenty of complaints and controversy amongst Football League managers as the Liverpool boss wants his top players to have a much-deserved rest.
With Liverpool’s first-team players not set to feature, it has raised the question over which players will the Reds field for the FA Cup fourth-round replay? Like versus Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals, Liverpool will field an under-23 squad led by coach Neil Critchley. Interestingly, Critchley stated in his pre-match press conference that Klopp can “call in during the game”.
Although Liverpool will field an under-23 squad, Shrewsbury Town manager Sam Ricketts is expected to play a nearly identical squad to get his team into the fifth round of the FA Cup. The winner of the tie will face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the fifth round.
One player the Reds will hope is available is left-back Yasser Larouci. The full-back is recovering from a hamstring problem and if he isn’t available, could leave the defence a bit short on players.
Critchley should have midfielder Curtis Jones in the team once more after he scored in both of Liverpool’s last two FA Cup fixtures. Pedro Chirivella should play next to Jones while Harvey Elliott is deployed on the wing.
One of the big problems Liverpool have is the loans of three players that leaves them short on possible squad members. Nat Phillips has returned to Stuttgart on loan. Meanwhile, Rhian Brewster joined Swansea City on loan in January. Herbie Kane left the club for a six-month loan at Hull City.
It is believed Critchley will start Neco Williams with Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever possible starting as well versus Shrewsbury Town.