Shrewsbury Town take a break from Sky Bet League One action this weekend as they travel to Merseyside to face European and Premier League giants Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Over 5000 fans will be making the trip up to Anfield to back Salop as they look to cause a huge upset and reach the fourth round of the prestigious trophy for the first time since 2019-20 – where they last faced Sunday’s opponents. Salop famously came from 2-0 down at Montgomery Waters Meadow in that tie to draw 2-2 against Jürgen Klopp’s men, taking them to a replay at Anfield where they lost 1-0.
It’s an occasion that doesn’t come around very often and it’s one for everyone involved at Shrewsbury to enjoy. Sunday’s game will be Salop’s 331st FA Cup fixture and their 200th as a league club.
League form has been good as of late for Salop, having lost only two of their past nine games in all competitions and they’ve picked up ten points from their last four league games. On their way to the third round of the FA Cup, they overcame non-league Stratford Town (5-1) and League Two side Carlisle United (2-1).
Whilst Liverpool are one of the most dangerous sides currently in world football, they have struggled recently. They are currently third in the Premier League table but have won only once in their past four league games, beating Newcastle United 3-1. The club has also been hit with a recent Covid-19 outbreak, with several first-team players and staff testing positive – including first-team coach Jürgen Klopp – which had forced the closure of the club’s training ground and saw both the first team’s Carabao Cup tie with Arsenal and the under-18’s FA Youth Cup match postponed earlier this week. The training ground reopened on Friday, but several players are still a doubt for Sunday’s game.
Whilst Klopp has been known to rotate his squad heavily in cup competitions during his time with the reds, he will certainly be without two of his key players in Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane, who travelled to their respective nations this week ahead of the African Cup of Nations.
Regardless of the team Liverpool put out on Sunday, it will be a great test for Cotterill’s side who must go out on that pitch, enjoy the occasion but, most importantly, they must try and cause a serious upset.
Name: Liverpool Football Club
Founded: 1892 (129 years ago)
Chairman: Tom Werner
Biggest Win: 11-0 vs Strømsgodset, European Cup Winners Cup, September 1974
Biggest Defeat: 1-9 vs Birmingham City, Second Division, December 1954
Highest League Position: 1st, First Division/Premier League: 1900–01, 1905–06, 1921–22, 1922–23, 1946–47, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90, 2019–20
One to Watch: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
While it is very difficult to predict who Liverpool might field, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of the more likely players to feature during Sunday’s game. The experienced Premier League midfielder is on the fringes of Liverpool’s starting eleven, often finding himself on the bench and starting from time to time. Throughout his long career, he has made 223 appearances in England’s top flight, dating back to his Arsenal debut in the 2011/12 season. He’s made 35 appearances for England’s national team, scoring seven goals in his international career. This season, the 28-year-old has made 23 appearances across all competitions, bagging one goal and one assist in the Carabao Cup and one assist in the Premier League.