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GAME ON! Liverpool assistant Peter Krawietz to take pre-match duties

With Jurgen Klopp still in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, the Liverpool manager’s assistant, Peter Krawietz, will take pre-Shrewsbury media duties.

This follows a directive from the FA that, unlike Premier League and League Cup games, FA Cup fixtures must be fulfilled regardless of the number of first-team players available.

Liverpool have already postponed their FA Youth Cup clash with Burnley to ensure the under-18s are on standby for the visit of League One side Shrewsbury.

They should be joined by the returning trio of Alisson, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino, while it stands to reason that Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones will also be available having only recently come out of isolation.

It remains to be seen whether Klopp, who tested positive on New Year’s Day but has been showing symptoms, will be able to take his place on the touchline.

But with Pepijn Lijnders also out, provisions have been made for Klopp’s stand-in, with Krawietz scheduled for a pre-match press conference at 1pm on Saturday.

Krawietz has worked alongside Klopp for over 20 years, when they met at Mainz, beginning work as video analyst and chief scout in 2001, and they have maintained a strong bond since then.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 1, 2021: Liverpool's assistant manager Peter Krawietz during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 239th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 50-year-old rarely finds himself in the spotlight, however, preferring to operate in the background as he now focuses on scouting and analysis, with an emphasis on set-piece preparation.

His involvement in the buildup is no guarantee that Klopp will not be present at Anfield for Sunday’s 2pm kickoff, but it shows that Liverpool are planning to go ahead with the third-round tie, with or without him.

The club are likely to reopen their training ground in Kirkby on Friday, having been forced to take extreme action following a severe outbreak of COVID-19.

Liverpool are yet to confirm which players and staff have tested positive, though the situation is also believed to have impacted the under-23s squad.

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