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Could Liverpool be susceptible to a FA Cup giant killing?

This was Jurgen Klopp's response to who he was going to pick for Liverpool's FA Cup clash with Exeter on Friday night

This was Jurgen Klopp’s response to who he was going to pick for Liverpool’s FA Cup clash with Exeter on Friday night

Liverpool seems to be down to their bare bones squad-wise at the moment, as their injury list now contains 13 players.

It is not an ideal situation considering the Reds are set to face League Two Exeter City in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday night.

The Grecians will be looking to add insult to those Liverpool injuries.

A real injury crisis

Liverpool has been undergoing what can only be described as an injury crisis in recent months. The dreaded hamstring injury is the most popular ailment affecting the Reds stars, with seven of the current squad out of action with hamstring problems.

Highly-rated young winger Jordon Ibe is the latest player to suffer a hamstring problem. Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel, Divock Origi, Dejan Lovren and Jordan Rossiter have all been ruled out with similar types of injuries.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has stated he is not scared of using the youngsters and was forced to recall Kevin Stewart, Ryan Kent and Sheyi Ojo from loan spells at lower league clubs.

Klopp was also forced into recalling Tiago Ilori from a loan spell at Aston Villa, such was the Reds lack of options at centre-back. Klopp is currently without the aforementioned Skrtel and Lovren, but the other centre-back options Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho are also struggling with injuries.

When everybody is fit Liverpool has a relatively strong squad of players and there would be little worries about an away trip to a team like Exeter. However, such is the Reds injury problems that people are suggesting the big giant killing of the weekend could come at St James Park.

The magic of the FA Cup

The attraction of the FA Cup is that lower league teams get the chance to defeat the top-flight big boys and make a name for themselves in the process. Exeter will probably never have a better opportunity than Friday to take such a big scalp.

The Grecians are not in the best of form though. Paul Tisdale’s side have suffered four consecutive league defeats and are currently 16th in the fourth tier. Their boss claims his team have not been playing badly, but have suffered defeat anyway.

Many struggling lower league teams have raised their games in the FA Cup in recent history. One famous recent-ish example was when an Everton team chasing Champions League qualification under David Moyes visited a Shrewsbury team who were bottom of League Two.

Incredibly the Shrews under former-Toffees legend Kevin Ratcliffe recorded a 2-1 win. That season Shrewsbury lost their league status and Everton finished fourth in the Premier League table.

The game showed just what can happen in the FA Cup and although the positions are not as extreme as that famous day in 2003, there is still a major gulf between the statures of the two clubs. The Grecians should not be able to bridge that gap in quality, but this is the FA Cup, a competition where anything can happen and invariably does.

Betting News

Despite their horrendous injury list Liverpool are still favourites for this clash at odds of 13/2, the draw is odds of 16/5 and the home side are odds of 9/2 to come out on top.

The odds show that Liverpool are not in the best place right now, squad-wise or form wise either. They have been inconsistent under new boss Jurgen Klopp so far, but even with their current problems they should have enough to defeat the Grecians.

The romantic in me says that Exeter can take advantage of the Reds current plight and claim a win, but the realist in me says that the Reds may encounter a few scares at St James Park, only to emerge with their participate in this competition still intact.

However, there is no room for realists in FA Cup third round week and there will be a giant killing in one of those third round games, whether it will be Liverpool who suffers that fate remains to be seen. Strap yourselves in Liverpool fans you could be in for a bumpy ride!

Could Liverpool be susceptible to a FA Cup giant killing?

Fri 8 Jan, 2016
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