MX23RW : Monday, April 6 13:53:32| >> :60:1852:1852:
Feb 4, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Anfield
Attendance: 52,399
ShrewsburyShrewsbury Town
Williams (75' og.)
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Liverpool vs. Shrewsbury Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday night's FA Cup fourth-round replay between Liverpool and Shrewsbury Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Shrewsbury Town will be hoping to pull off a famous FA Cup upset when they visit Anfield for their fourth-round replay against Liverpool on Tuesday evening.

Jurgen Klopp has already confirmed that neither he nor his first-team players will be involved in the game, seemingly opening the door for the League One visitors to secure a fifth-round meeting with Chelsea.

Match preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on January 26, 2020© Reuters

The decision for Klopp and Liverpool's first-team players to essentially ignore this match has been predictably controversial.

Whereas they were somewhat forced into making the same decision for their EFL Cup tie with Aston Villa in December due to their concurrent involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup, this FA Cup tie comes 11 days before their next match.

However, Klopp has insisted that he will respect the winter break imposed by the Premier League and once again field the Under-23 side, with Neil Critchley taking charge of the youngsters.

Most can probably understand why the senior players have been given the match off following a hectic schedule over the winter months, but it was Klopp's own absence which led to the most vociferous accusations of devaluing the oldest cup competition in world football.

The German's defence is understandable - he argues that Critchley, rather than he, is the coach of the Under-23 side and knows the team better - but the stand taken by Klopp in the face of increasingly busy fixture lists has divided football fans up and down the country.

Liverpool coach Neil Critchley pictured on December 17, 2019© Reuters

Of course, there would not have been such a controversial decision to make had Liverpool completed the job at the first time of asking, incredibly throwing away a two-goal lead at Montgomery Waters Meadow last month.

It was a result which Shrewsbury thoroughly deserved and yet another reminder that the FA Cup can prove to be a great equaliser, with even Liverpool - statistically on course to become the most dominant team in English football history - falling foul to the magic of the competition.

What made the result even more remarkable was that Liverpool had a number of experienced players in their ranks; Adrian, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Fabinho and Divock Origi all started, while Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench.

It was a much stronger team on paper than the one which beat Everton in the FA Cup third round, and Critchley will be hoping for a repeat of that result rather than the 5-0 drubbing his youngsters received at the hands of Aston Villa in the EFL Cup.

That result was harsh, though, and the Under-23 side actually ended the game with a higher pass percentage than Liverpool's Premier League average at the time, so hopes will be high that they can fare better against League One opposition.

Shrewsbury Town's Jason Cummings celebrates scoring their first goal from the penalty spot on January 26, 2020© Reuters

For Shrewsbury it may be difficult to know what to expect. Liverpool have shattered all sorts of records already this season and are on course for plenty more having stormed into an unprecedented 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League table at the weekend.

The Reds have also won 25 of their last 26 home games across all competitions and are unbeaten at Anfield in 39 outings stretching back to September 2018, keeping clean sheets in each of their last six.

Of course, it is the senior players who have racked up those remarkable figures, but simply playing at Anfield - regardless of the opposition - risks overawing some of the visiting players.

Shrewsbury do not make the journey in particularly good form either, losing back-to-back games without scoring since their unforgettable comeback in the initial tie and winning only one of their last 10 outings across all competitions.

A winless run since before Christmas has seen Sam Ricketts's side slip to 16th in the League One table and, while the threat of relegation is some way off, the prospect of challenging for the playoffs is even further removed.

Shrewsbury Town manager Sam Ricketts pictured on January 14, 2020© Reuters

Victory over Liverpool would almost single-handedly make for a successful campaign, though, while also booking their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup for only the second time since 1990-91.

Bradford City, Mansfield Town and Bristol City have already been dispatched of en route to Anfield, and Liverpool's Under-23 plan will give the Shrews a huge amount of belief that they can set up another money-spinning tie in the next round.

A trip to Stamford Bridge is the carrot dangling in front of Ricketts's men, and it would be some story if the League One outfit became the team to end Liverpool's utter domestic dominance at Anfield in recent years.

Liverpool FA Cup form: WD
Liverpool form (all competitions): WWWDWW

Shrewsbury FA Cup form: DWWDWD
Shrewsbury form (all competitions): DWDDLL

Team News

Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring their first goal on January 26, 2020© Reuters

With Liverpool's first-teamers on their mid-season break, there will be a number of unfamiliar names taking to the field for Liverpool at Anfield.

Some members of the Under-23 setup have already begun to make their mark on the first team, though, not least Curtis Jones, who has scored in both of Liverpool's FA Cup games so far this season.

The likes of Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg and Pedro Chirivella are also gaining more and more senior experience.

That quintet could all start again in this contest, although other potential starters - notably Rhian Brewster, Nathaniel Phillips and Herbie Kane - left the club on loan in January.

Shrewsbury will likely start with Jason Cummings leading the line after his replay-earning brace off the bench in the initial tie.

The striker has struggled with his fitness of late, but did start against Rochdale at the weekend and appears to be close to a return to 100% now.

Dave Edwards, who has experience of winning an FA Cup game at Anfield with lower league opposition, will be hopeful of keeping his place in midfield, but Ricketts is more likely to recall Brad Walker in addition to Aaron Pierre.

January arrival Sam Hart will be pushing for a spot at left wing-back in place of Scott Golbourne.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Hoever, Van den Berg, Boyes, Larouci; Dixon-Bonner, Chirivella, Jones; Elliott, Longstaff, Hill

Shrewsbury possible starting lineup:
O'Leary; Ebanks-Landell, PIerre, Beckles; Love, Laurent, Walker, Golbourne; Whalley, Cummings, Lang

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Liverpool 2-1 Shrewsbury

This is a hugely intriguing contest, and a good measuring stick for Liverpool's youngsters. Shrewsbury will take a lot of confidence from their deserved draw in the initial tie, particularly the way it happened, and their chances have been further buoyed by the fact that Liverpool's senior players will not feature.

However, the Under-23s' 5-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the EFL Cup was harsh on Liverpool's youngsters, who have plenty of talent. They will fancy their chances against League One opposition, and with the Anfield advantage behind them we are backing the hosts to get the job done.


Who will progress into the FA Cup fifth round - Liverpool or Shrewsbury?

Share this article now:
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Napoli in the Champions League on November 27, 2019.
Read Next:
Liverpool set to welcome injured players back for Shrewsbury tie
Latest Sports Video
Did you know...?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Live scores banner
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!