Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 13/10
With a spot in the fifth round of this year’s FA Cup up for grabs on Tuesday night, Jurgen Klopp’s youngsters will welcome League One Shrewsbury to Anfield.
Starting with the hosts, after throwing away two shock goals at Waters Meadow last week and having to settle for an FA Cup replay, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made it no secret that he will be turning to youth on Tuesday night. With the former Borussia Dortmund boss watching his squad extend their buffer at the top of the Premier League to a staggering 22 points, the Reds; U’23’s boss Neil Critchley will once again take charge of the starlets at Anfield. With an ever-growing party atmosphere around the red half of Merseyside and with their sights set on landing what would be an iconic silverware sweep, a huge part of Liverpool’s stellar 12 months has come thanks to some scintillating form on home soil. Along with Klopp’s youngsters knocking bitter rivals Everton out in the third-round, Tuesday’s hosts have won each of their domestic matchups on home soil so far this season. One starlet to keep an eye out for in midweek could be 19-year-old, Curtis Jones. Finding the net against Shrewsbury on the road last week, the winger has found the net in back-to-back FA Cup matchups, including bagging the winner against Everton last month.
After announcing that he will rest almost his entire first-team squad on Tuesday, the likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg and Pedro Chirivella.
Morgan Boyes is another option for Critchley at the back while Leighton Clarkson or Jake Cain could start in midfield.
As for the visitors, while Shrewsbury may have sent shockwaves across England by battling back to pick up an FA Cup replay against Liverpool last week, Sam Ricketts’ men have since come crashing back down to earth. Putting in what looked like a tired display and hit with a 1-0 defeat away at Rochdale over the weekend, the Blues have now been hit with back-to-back defeats. Even more worrying for fans around Waters Meadow, the Shrews have recorded just a sole victory across any competition in their last 10 attempts, a run that stems back to the 21st of December. Still stuck almost in limbo in the bottom half of the League One standings, there is no doubt that Ricketts will be most concerned by his side’s continued struggles on the road. Yet to win any of their five matches away from Shropshire since opening the New Year, Shrewsbury have also shown a rather toothless edge in the final third. While Jason Cummings may have bagged a famous brace against Liverpool last weekend and now recorded three goals in his last four appearances, Tuesday’s guests have drawn a blank in three of their last four appearances away from Waters Meadow.
Manager Sam Ricketts is set to play a similar team to the first game, with new signings Conor McAleny, Kayne Ramsay and Harry Burgoyne unavailable after not being registered for the initial tie.
Key Factors to Consider
- While Shrewsbury may have snatched a 2-2 draw against Liverpool in the first-leg, they have won just one of their last 10 matches across all competitions.
- Liverpool have won each of their 15 domestic matches at Anfield across all formats this season.
- Winger Curtis Jones has scored in back-to-back FA Cup appearances.
- Shrewsbury have failed to find the net in three of their last four matches away from Waters Meadow.
- However, forward Jason Cummings has three goals in his last four appearances, including a brace against Liverpool last week.
While Jurgen Klopp may have already long since decided that he was going to turn to youth on Tuesday, there is no doubt that Liverpool’s youngsters should be relishing their chance to shine. With Shrewsbury continuing to show some glaring issues away from Waters Meadow, particularly in the final third, Anfield could be in store for a cagey encounter in midweek. With the starlets also managing to snatch a 1-0 win off of a full-strength Everton in the third round last month, we’re backing a similar outcome on the red half of Merseyside.
Verdict: Under 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 13/10
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