Liverpool are preparing for an FA Cup match on Friday night…but their opponents aren’t. What a fun start to the new year!
Villa close down training ground after outbreak
You may by now be aware that our FA Cup third-round clash with Aston Villa tomorrow night is in serious doubt, with Aston Villa having to close down their training ground and place a number of individuals into self-isolation.
“A large number of first-team players and staff returned positive tests after being routinely tested on Monday and immediately went into isolation.
“A second round of testing…produced more positive results today. First-team training ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup match with Liverpool was cancelled.”
There have been no specific numbers revealed, nor names, but at present there are discussions ongoing as to if the game goes ahead, where it might fit in the schedule or what happens if it can’t be played.
Of course there have been a few calls for them to play the kids – last season’s League Cup in mind! – but stay tuned to This Is Anfield for news on what will happen with the game.
Centre-back signing unlikely in January
Jurgen Klopp, harbinger of doom!
The boss says it’s “not likely” that the Reds will sign a new defender because of the ongoing effects of coronavirus.
We’ve barely had fans in all season and the fiscal responsibility of those in charge remains of paramount importance, so frivolous spending is improbable.
In a normal situation, the boss says, then of course we’d be adding someone to the squad – but then, in a normal campaign with a full pre-season, proper time for planning and the games not coming as close together as they have been, would we have suffered all these injuries anyway?
Either way, be prepared for the defensive situation to remain as it is.
Assuming it goes ahead…
For now, we have to assume that we’ll be playing on Friday night as planned. So here’s the build-up…
- The boss says we’ll need fresh legs against Villa, but Naby Keita won’t be involved despite being “back soon”
- While Matip might be back for Man United, there’s no time frame for Diogo Jota’s return to action
- And Pep Lijnders has explained the influence Jordan Henderson has on the squad behind the scenes
Quickfire LFC news
- LFC have offered to allow the NHS the use of Anfield as a vaccine hub (TIA)
- Nike and LeBron James could play a part in getting Mbappe to Liverpool instead of Real Madrid (AS)
- And the boss is pleased with Minamino’s adaptation a year after joining (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Man City think they are at the “front of the queue” if Messi leaves. Can you call it a queue if there are only two in it? (Telegraph)
- Villa will turn down bids for Jack Grealish this window. Presumably unless it was him causing the mass outbreak by doing Grealish-esque lockdown things, of course (Mail)
- WBA are ready to sign Robert Snodgrass from WHU, which should solve everything (Sky)
- And Ozil has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal with Fenerbahce and the thought of him being paid for not running around at the age of 35 is hilarious (DHA)
Stupid organisation of the day
Despite having now been corrected by Cavani himself, the Uruguay national team, the entire CONMEBOL state and indeed the person he was talking to, the FA have decided they still know best and say the term the United striker used was “offensive”.
Presumably because Google translate said so.
Tweet of the day
1??5?? years ago today…
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 7, 2021
What we’re reading
David Lynch writes for TIA about the centre-back plan, the reasons behind the recent links and what to expect this month and beyond.
Worth watching tonight
Sporting Braga vs Maritimo at 9pm in Portugal…you know, just to keep an eye out for David Carmo. Just in case.