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Liverpool’s FA Cup progress causes further fixture congestion

Liverpool’s progression to the fourth round of the FA Cup is set to see the Reds handed yet another scheduling headache at the end of January.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have had a plethora of fixtures to contend with in recent times, with five competitions in the space of just 27 days up to the clash against Everton on Sunday.

And after Curtis Jones‘ strike in the second half of proceedings at Anfield, his first in senior football, Liverpool have now added another game to their list for the January period.

From the meeting with Tottenham on Saturday onwards, the Reds will play six games in 21 days – where the FA Cup fourth round clash is to be sandwiched between the Premier League trips to Wolves (Jan 23) and West Ham (Jan 29).

The latter was, of course, rescheduled due to Liverpool’s involvement in the Club World Cup in December, where the Reds’ involvement in the next round of the FA Cup is likely to fall on the preceding Sunday (Jan 26).

It would see Klopp’s side play three games in six days before hosting Southampton in the topflight on the first day of February – should the league tie with Wolves remain unchanged.

Liverpool will find out who their opponents will be in the next round on Monday evening (7.35pm GMT) prior to Leeds United’s trip to Arsenal, with 32 teams in the pot – where there are replays still to be played.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The fixture congestion is likely to see Klopp turn to his younger brigade, and those on the fringes, once more having seized every opportunity to impress in both the League and FA Cup so far this season.

And with the relentless festive schedule handing the Reds a number of injuries to key players, there may also be hopes that those on the comeback trail could utilise the FA Cup fixture to work their way back into first team action.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provided the latest fitness boost after featuring for the last 20 minutes of the win over the Blues, while Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri are nearing their return.

Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Naby Keita and James Milner – who sustained a hamstring injury early in proceedings at Anfield – meanwhile, remain under injury clouds.

The boss has utilised his squad effectively thus far and will need to continue to do so as the Reds look to continue challenging on multiple fronts long into the season.

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