Liverpool vs. Norwich City
FA Cup Fifth Round | Anfield
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 | 8.15pm (GMT)
The Reds beat Chelsea in extraordinary fashion at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, winning 11-10 on penalties to clinch a first domestic cup trophy in a decade.
Here are 10 things to know ahead of the game.
1. Norwich heading back to the Championship?
While the Canaries produced a spirited showing that day, a return to the Championship looks increasingly likely, as they prop up the rest of the table.
They will no doubt bounce straight back up again next season after an all-conquering Championship campaign, as is the norm for them!
2. Defensive problems for Canaries
It will be intriguing to see how seriously Smith takes Wednesday’s match, considering league survival takes precedence.
That being said, an upset is still possible and a place in the quarters should not be sniffed at, meaning a strong team will likely be fielded.
Grant Hanley is suspended and could be replaced by Christoph Zimmerman at the back, though, while Adam Idah and Andrew Omobamidele are injured.
Former Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak is a fitness doubt, as are fellow defenders Max Aarons and Brandon Williams, giving Smith a potential shortage at the back.
Possible Norwich XI: Gunn; Byram, Zimmermann, Gibson, Giannoulis; Normann, Gilmour, McLean; Sargent, Rashica, Pukki
3. Who’s missing for Liverpool?
He was seen in tears on the touchline and a spell out of the team now awaits – he will miss at least the next two matches, but could return for the Champions League meeting with Inter Milan next Tuesday.
4. How could Reds line up?
There is no doubt that Klopp will ring the changes at Anfield, especially after such a gruelling encounter with Chelsea.
A stronger XI is to be expected at home to West Ham on Saturday evening, with fringe players given a chance against the Canaries.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Gomez, R.Williams, Konate, Tsimikas; Milner, Elliott, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Minamino, Jones, Origi
5. No quadruple talk!
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Klopp dismissed talk of the quadruple:
“OK, the only team who could win the quadruple is us, because we won the first competition. That’s easy.
“But even City, with all the quality they have in the last few years, couldn’t win the quadruple. That says pretty much everything.
“The quadruple, this wonderful story, no team yet in the history of English football ever won the quadruple. Because it’s really difficult.
6. Jurgen’s thoughts on Elliott ‘mistake’
Klopp also spoke about Harvey Elliott being contacted by the FA after celebrating with a flare on Sunday, giving a typically balanced view:
“Will I speak to him? Yes. Harvey is a very young man on the pitch, and outside he is still a little bit more a boy. But that’s not a problem – he made a mistake.
“Because of the ‘role model’ role we have, as people working in public, I understand 100 percent. I will tell him, I can promise he will not do it again.
“Do I think it was the worst thing that ever happened in the world of football? No.”
7. Klopp’s FA Cup struggles
Klopp has worked miracles since becoming Liverpool manager back in October 2015, but he hasn’t exactly excelled in the FA Cup.
In fact, victory on Wednesday night would mean the German seals his best performance in the competition as Reds boss.
Until this point, Klopp has never got beyond the fifth-round stage, with one third-round exit and four fourth-round eliminations coming his way.
The only other time Liverpool reached the last 16 with the 54-year-old in charge was back in 2019/20, when Chelsea knocked them out at Stamford Bridge.
8. Did you know?
Liverpool may not have done well in the FA Cup in recent times, but their record at home in it remains strong.
Granted, there have been some drab draws along the way, most notably against Blackburn and Bolton, but Anfield remains a daunting ground to visit in the FA Cup.
Just ask Man United, who were downed by a late Dirk Kuyt winner back in January 2012.
9. Atkinson takes charge
Martin Atkinson has been confirmed as the referee for the cup clash, while John Brooks is on VAR duty.
This will be Atkinson’s third Liverpool game of the season, in all competitions, and he has been a lucky charm to date.
10. Follow TIA’s live blog
Wednesday’s match is live on ITV 1 in the UK, and This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog is the best place to follow the action alongside.
Dan Clubbe will be keeping you entertained and up-to-date from 7.30pm (GMT), with kickoff at the later time of 8.15pm.
Come on you Reds!