Liverpool’s volume of fixtures just keep on getting worse coming in January, as Liverpool continue to compete on all 3 domestic fronts. This time they travel to Plymouth Argyle for the 3rd round replay.
After the recent draw at Anfield where Jurgen Klopp fielded the clubs youngest every squad he needs to potentially make a few changes in order to avoid an FA Cup shock – a day that will live long in the memory for the travelling Pilgrims.
Derek Adams’ men came to stifle Liverpool, and while their tactics were not easy on the eye, they fully merited their clean-sheet on Merseyside. Adams must surely believe they can produce one of the great FA Cup shocks.
It will be difficult for a potentially young Reds team, playing in front of a hostile home crowd. The match will be a sell-out with more than 14,000 home supporters. The atmosphere will be superb, however Liverpool will be hoping for a far better performance than the one at Anfield. If an early goal is achieved it will take the sting out of the game, forcing Plymouth to attack. This will allow Liverpool to sit deep, exploiting the gaps as Plymouth get tired.
The winners of Wednesday’s replay will host Championship side Wolves in the fourth round on 28 January.
It will be interesting to see if Klopp relies upon a bit more experience this time round, the pressure will be on to avoid a humiliating defeat, especially after recently dismissing he is showing disrespect towards the cup.
- Loris Karius is set to start in goal.
- Nathaniel Clyne (rib) and Lucas Leiva (knee) are both set to miss the game.
- Liverpool have opted to leave out centre-back Joel Matip after the issue with FIFA has yet to be resolved.
- Ben Woodburn, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Sheyi Ojo could be called into action.
- Klopp needing more experience in this tie to avoid defeat.
Klopp has to be mindful of the game against Swansea City on Saturday lunchtime. Swansea are currently bottom of the league, however with the issues we had against Sunderland in a similar position it means nothing!
The best solution would be to select Henderson over Can and Stewart, this would be a great way to improve his fitness whilst providing composure in the middle of the park. Philippe Coutinho played for 30 minutes in the draw against Man Utd at the weekend and a start tonight would be a great way to continue his road to recovery.
The exciting young quintet of Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria, Ojo and Woodburn should all start tonight. This again would be another great night for Alex Inglethorpe who has revolutionised the academy.
Alexander-Arnold had a superb game against Man Utd at the weekend and has to start.
Liverpool really miss a pacy outlet since Sadio Mane has gone to AFCON, so Ojo could return to allow us some direct running at the back four.
My starting XI
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Klavan, Moreno; Ejaria, Henderson, Woodburn; Coutinho, Sturridge, Ojo.