Reds out to avoid FA Cup upset – Plymouth Argyle vs. Liverpool Preview

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Steering clear of an FA Cup shock is the order of the day on Wednesday, as Liverpool travel to Plymouth Argyle in their third round replay.

Plymouth Argyle vs. Liverpool

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – 7:45pm (GMT)
Home Park
FA Cup
Referee: Graham Scott

The fixtures keep coming thick and fast in January, as Liverpool work their socks off across three different competitions.

After Sunday’s tense 1-1 draw with Man United in the Premier League, the FA Cup takes centre stage on Wednesday.

The Reds were held to a goalless draw by Plymouth in the initial third round clash at Anfield – 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.

Having got Jurgen Klopp and his side back to Home Park, Plymouth will believe they can produce one of the great FA Cup shocks.

A potentially young Reds team will not have it all their own way in front of a boisterous home crowd, and a far better performance is called for than at Anfield.

It will be interesting to see if Klopp relies upon a few more older heads, as he looks to avoid a humiliating result.

Whatever happens, it should be a fascinating battle in the south west.

 

Last Time Around

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 7, 2017: Liverpool's Oviemuno Ovie Ejaria in action against Plymouth Argyle during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Anfield showdown on January 8th was the first meeting between Liverpool and Plymouth since 1962, but it didn’t exactly deliver a classic.

Plymouth were hellbent on defending for their lives throughout, and in fairness to them, they thwarted a Reds side lacking in ideas and intensity.

It was great to see Ben Woodburn handed his first ever Liverpool start, though, and see the likes of Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Sheyi Ojo given a chance, too.

Both Woodburn and Ojo came as close as anyone to breaking the deadlock, but the eventual 0-0 scoreline was a disappointing one for the hosts.

 

Opposition Q & A

NEWPORT, WALES - Wednesday, December 21, 2016: Plymouth Argyle supporters during the FA Cup 2nd Round Replay match against Newport County at Rodney Parade. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We spoke to Beren Cross (@BerenCross), Sports Journalist for the Plymouth Herald, about the tie in general – here’s a snippet of the interview.

Tell us a bit about Home Park as a ground, in terms of atmosphere. Will it be intimidating for the Reds?

It’s a largely modern stadium and perhaps not what many of the Liverpool supporters expect when they turn up. Three stands are filled in at the corners and are only the best part of 15-years-old. There is one free-standing stand, which you don’t see on the main television angle, which has been there for decades and shows its age.

It played host to Championship football less than 10 years ago, so it’s not the sort of fourth-division ground you would see at somewhere like Accrington Stanley or Morecambe.

The match will be a sell-out and there are going to be more than 14,000 home supporters. The atmosphere will be superb and I am sure the visiting supporters will play a big part in that.

I think it will be noisy from start to finish, whether Argyle are losing or not.

Read our interview with Beren in full here.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 7, 2017: Liverpool's Joe Gomez in action against Plymouth Argyle during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With the visit of Swansea City on Saturday lunchtime lurking on the horizon, Klopp is sure to rotate his starting lineup against Plymouth.

The German could hand starts to both Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson, in order to keep improving their match fitness, although that would be seen as a big risk.

Roberto Firmino and Emre Can could both do with the evening off, having got through huge amounts of work of late, with James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum also sure to benefit from a break, among others.

Nathaniel Clyne won’t be ready, having not featured against United on Sunday, while Joel Matip‘s involvement is up in the air, because of eligibility issues. Lucas Leiva could miss out through injury.

The exciting quintet of Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria, Ojo and Woodburn should all begin proceedings, with Kevin Stewart another who will hope to slot into the midfield.

Loris Karius is expected to come in for Simon Mignolet, and others who should start include Alberto Moreno, Daniel Sturridge and possibly Divock Origi.

 

Form

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 15, 2017: Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the first goal against Manchester United's goalkeeper David de Gea from the penalty spot during the FA Premier League match at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 1-1 vs. Man United
Lost 1-0 vs. Southampton
Drew 0-0 vs. Plymouth Argyle
Drew 2-2 vs. Sunderland
Won 1-0 vs. Man City

Plymouth Argyle – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 4-2 vs. Stevenage Borough
Drew 0-0 vs. Liverpool
Lost 1-0 vs. Barnet
Won 2-0 vs. Crawley Town
Drew 3-3 vs. Wycombe Wanderers

 

Klopp’s View

Klopp discussed the Matip situation, explaining that he’d like to start the centre-back but has no guarantee it’s allowed:

“We’re sure Joel Matip did nothing wrong. He hasn’t played for Cameroon since 2015.

“Since he’s here, he’s not been a Cameroon player. He’s not in the Cameroon squad, so he can’t play for Cameroon.

“But in this moment we have no 100 percent guarantee he can play for us. The last few days it’s getting more busy, for all departments involved for Liverpool.

“The procedure is that I would consider to line him up tomorrow, but I don’t know if I can.

“That’s the thing. From the sport side it would make absolute sense, the perfect game for him, but I’m not sure if I can.”

 

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 from 7pm, with kick-off at 7:45pm.

As always, we will be running our matchday live blog (7pm-9:45pm), providing you with minute-by-minute updates during the game and plenty of content before the action gets underway.

If you’re unable to watch the match unfold, it’s certainly a good alternative.

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