A severe covid outbreak within the camp forced Liverpool to postpone their League Cup semifinal first leg fixture against Arsenal. But they have to regroup themselves for the weekend’s FA Cup 3rd Round clash against Shrewsbury Town which is set to go ahead at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds were drawn against the League One side a couple of years ago. They were held to a 2-2 draw on the road but a late own goal from the Shrews’ centre-back Ro-Shaun Williams (in the Anfield replay) earned Liverpool a scrappy progression to the next round. The Shropshire side are currently sitting midtable in the third tier of English football, however, a headstrong display in this Cup tie might script an upset against the decimated Merseysiders.
Predicted 4-3-3 Liverpool Lineup To Face Shrewsbury Town
Liverpool did not have any senior custodians available for the midweek contest versus the Gunners. But they are hoping to have Alisson Becker back provided he is now negative and showing no symptoms after missing out on the Chelsea outing due to coronavirus. 18-year-old Harvey Davies might be handed a surprise debut otherwise.
Virgil van Dijk served isolation last month and should retain his place in the heart of the defensive line. The Reds U18s skipper Jarell Quansah should be handed a senior debut if no other centre-half is available for selection, whereas Andrew Robertson is expected to occupy the left-back role upon completion of his three-game suspension. Conor Bradley might operate from the right as he has done so far in the League Cup fixtures.
Along with Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones should make it to the matchday squad as they have been in quarantine in recent weeks. Tyler Morton is likely to feature from the base as a ‘number six’ allowing Jones to operate in a box-to-box role as the chief ball carrier. Jordan Henderson might be fit too as he provided his column for the matchday programme.
Liverpool have a crisis high up the pitch with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane currently representing their respective nations in the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations. Divock Origi has been sidelined with a knee injury and the Reds might rely on academy sensation Kaide Gordon down the wide who has already made it to the senior side in the League Cup. Takumi Minamino must grab the first-team status if declared fit. Roberto Firmino, too, remains an option if he returns a negative test similar to Alisson. Young prodigy Max Woltman would get involved in case the Brazilian fails to make it to the matchday squad.