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10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Norwich

Liverpool return to Anfield on Wednesday fresh off the back of League Cup glory, looking to push on for more silverware with an FA Cup fifth-round win over Norwich.

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.

Attention now turns to the FA Cup and the visit of Premier League strugglers Norwich, as Jurgen Klopp‘s men look to reach the quarter-finals.

Here are 10 things to know ahead of the game.

 

1. Norwich heading back to the Championship?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 19, 2022: Liverpool's scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool got the better of Norwich in the Premier League last month, but they had to recover from going behind, eventually winning 3-1 at Anfield.

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.

The 2-0 defeat at Southampton last Friday means Dean Smith’s side are now five points adrift of Everton in 17th, having played two games more.

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

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 19, 2022: Norwich City's manager Daniel Farke before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 19, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Thiago Alcantara warms-up during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thiago is the most noticeable absentee for Liverpool on Wednesday, with the Spaniard injuring his hamstring in the warmup ahead of the League Cup final.

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.

Roberto Firmino is also doubtful, but Klopp otherwise has a fit squad to choose from, with Luis Diaz replaced because of fatigue at the weekend, not injury.

 

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.

League Cup hero Caoimhin Kelleher is likely to be brought out of the spotlight, while there may be starts for the likes of Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Divock Origi.

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.

“We won the Carabao Cup, we are behind City in the Premier League, we play Norwich tomorrow night after playing 120 minutes on Sunday, then we play West Ham!”

 

6. Jurgen’s thoughts on Elliott ‘mistake’

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott celebrates with a smoke bomb after the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 11-10 on penalties after a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 6th, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 6th, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates with team-mate Takumi Minamino (R) and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota (L) after scoring the first goal during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool may not have done well in the FA Cup in recent times, but their record at home in it remains strong.

In fact, the Reds have only lost twice at Anfield in the competition since back in 2010 – 2-1 and 3-2 losses to Wolves (2016/17) and West Brom (2017/18), respectively.

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

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 19, 2019: Referee Martin Atkinson during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

The 50-year-old oversaw the hard-earned 1-0 win away to Burnley in the Premier League, as well as the 2-0 victory at Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final second leg.

 

10. Follow TIA’s live blog

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrate after the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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!

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