Much changed Reds to host Pilgrims – Liverpool vs. Plymouth Argyle Preview

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Liverpool host Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, as Anfield hopes to witness the start of the Reds’ march to Wembley.

Liverpool vs. Plymouth Argyle

Sunday, January 8, 2017 – 1:30pm (GMT)
Anfield
FA Cup third round
Referee: Paul Tierney

The Reds have battled their way through a gruelling Christmas schedule, and they remain right in the title hunt, five points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

Drawing 2-2 with Sunderland may have been a blow, but Chelsea‘s subsequent defeat at Tottenham, coupled with Liverpool beating the likes of Everton and Man City, have made it a positive week or two.

The pressure of the Premier League makes way for the return of the FA Cup this weekend, as the Reds look to lift the famous trophy for the first time in 11 years.

Standing in their way in the third round are League 2 outfit Plymouth Argyle – a team also currently second in their division.

Derek Adams’ side have continued from where they left off last season, when only a play-off final defeat to AFC Wimbledon denied them a place in League 1.

The Pilgrims are clearly huge underdogs going into the tie, but Jurgen Klopp is likely to play a weakened team littered with youngsters.

Anything other than a Liverpool win would be a shock, but Plymouth are a talented side who have nothing to lose. Let battle commence.

 

Past Meetings

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 22, 2016: The Paisley Gateway pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Plymouth certainly isn’t a fixture that many Reds supporters will ever recall happening in their lifetime.

The last meeting came way back in April 1962, when Bill Shankly’s side won 3-2 at Home Park, on their way to the Second Division title. Alan A’Court, Ian St John and Roger Hunt got the goals for the Reds.

In total, the two sides have faced each other on 10 occasions, with Liverpool winning five, Plymouth triumphing twice and the other three ending in draws.

A’Court has the most goals in the fixture, scoring six in eight appearances, with legendary striker Hunt finding the net four times in six matches.

 

Team News

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 23, 2016: Liverpool's Joe Gomez in action against Burnley during the Lancashire Senior Cup 2nd Round match at the Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As mentioned, Klopp is fully expected to ring the changes on Sunday, as he gives some of his big names a much-needed breather.

With Southampton in the League Cup semi-final first-leg and Man United in the Premier League looming, that is essential.

Youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kevin Stewart and Ovie Ejaria all look likely to start proceedings, while Joe Gomez will return for the first time since a serious knee injury suffered in October 2015.

Ben Woodburn is another who might feature, although the teenager is perhaps more likely to begin the game on the substitutes’ bench.

The likes of Loris Karius, Alberto Moreno and Lucas Leiva will be hoping to feature prominently, while Divock Origi will surely start in attack.

Joel Matip, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge are out, while Sadio Mane is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal.

 

Form

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - Monday, January 2, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 2-2 vs. Sunderland
Won 1-0 vs. Man City
Won 4-1 vs. Stoke
Won 1-0 vs. Everton
Won 3-0 vs. Middlesbrough

Plymouth – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 1-0 vs. Barnet
Won 2-0 vs. Crawley
Drew 3-3 vs. Wycombe Wanderers
Won 1-0 vs. Newport County
Won 1-0 vs. Accrington Stanley

 

Klopp’s View

Klopp discussed the long-awaited return of Gomez – a young player he clearly rates highly:

“[He’s] is in good shape, and maybe it would not be the biggest surprise he would be in the lineup.

“It is the next step and he has a long way to go. He already had a long way and it could still be but everything is good. We don’t really have the idea to give him on loan to another club.

“He’s a wonderful boy and we are really happy for him. He is fit now. He had a few games with the second team and he’s very self critical as he was not always at his best.

“But that’s normal after a long period of injury. [Playing in the first team] is a logical next step.”

 

UK TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The match is live on BT Sport 2, with kick-off at 1:30pm.

As an alternative, we will be running our matchday live blog from 12:45pm, with minute-by-minute updates during the game and plenty of pre-match content as well.

You’d rather that than watch Michael Owen and Robbie Savage talking about football, right?

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