Liverpool vs. Norwich
FA Cup fourth round | Anfield
January 28, 2024 | 2.30pm (GMT)
Things were going so swimmingly for the Reds and then the Jurgen Klopp news broke!
Who else is still stunned?
Klopp announced that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, in a decision that has sent shockwaves around the world of football. It will, of course, dominate the pre-match chats in and around Anfield on Sunday.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.
1. Klopp’s resignation stuns Liverpool
On Friday, Klopp told the world that he has decided to quit as Liverpool manager this summer, citing “running out of energy” as a reason behind his decision.
It has been difficult for Reds fans to concentrate on anything else since the news broke, and it may not fully sink in for a while yet.
Klopp has been a transformative figure at Anfield since October 2015, winning the lot and becoming the most influential figure at the club in decades, and his exit will leave a gaping void.
Expect a big atmosphere on Sunday, for what otherwise might have been a low key game! Sorry Jurgen, but we’ll be singing your song all game!
2. Focus now on Norwich
It is important that Liverpool don’t allow the Klopp news to take focus away from the job in-hand.
The Canaries are a good side, however, sitting eighth in the Championship this season and threatening to finish in the playoff positions.
With changes expected in Liverpool’s starting lineup, this may not be as easy as some think.
3. Klopp up against his best man
Klopp may be an emotional figure on Sunday afternoon, but he will have one of his greatest friends by his side throughout the game.
That’s because Norwich manager David Wagner was the Liverpool boss’ best man at his wedding, highlighting how close they are.
The pair have been great friends for over 25 years, and Klopp is excited ahead of the weekend action, saying:
“We had already conversations about it. He asked me for massive rotation. I told him that doesn’t help, obviously. It’s cool to have the game. When he worked at Huddersfield, he watched a lot of games here in the stadium, when they didn’t play he was here, and now he’s back.
“We didn’t see each other for a long time, the next time probably would have been in the summer, so now it’s good to catch up and to lock horns again.”
4. Team news
Thankfully, Liverpool’s injuries are easing all the time, further suggesting that they are primed to fight across four competitions this season.
Mohamed Salah continues to undergo a rehabilitation programme, in order to be fit for the latter stages of the Africa Cup of Nations, and he won’t be back for Liverpool until February.
5. Who are Norwich’s key men?
Norwich will know that they are big underdogs heading into the match, but that’s not to say that they don’t have players who can hurt Liverpool.
Attacking midfielder Jonathan Rowe leads their Championship scoring charts with 12 goals in the division this season, also adding two assists.
Gabriel Sera is another key man with 13 goal contributions overall (five goals and eight assists), and the central midfielder has started every league game in 2023/24 to date.
Angus Gunn is an important figure in the Norwich goal, and the home fans will be hoping he isn’t the latest visiting goalkeeper to be in inspired form at Anfield.
His father Bryan started the last time Norwich beat Liverpool – more on that later…
6. Predicted Liverpool XI
Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Bradley, Konate, Quansah, Beck; Jones, Clark, Gravenberch; Elliott, Gakpo, Jota.
7. Klopp’s presser
Jurgen actually held his pre-Norwich press conference on Thursday, which was odd – little did we know the reason why at the time.
In truth, there wasn’t much discussion about Norwich specifically, but there were some words on his best friend, David Wagner.
8. Did You Know?
It’s fair to say that Liverpool have enjoyed plenty of success against Norwich down the years, including the famous 5-4 victory and last-gasp Adam Lallana winner in 2016, when Klopp lost his glasses amid the celebrations.
In fact, the last time the Canaries tasted victory over the Reds was all the way back in 1994, when a Jeremy Goss strike earned them a 1-0 win in the last game in front of the old Kop.
That is 30 years ago in May, which seems scarcely believable, meaning Liverpool are unbeaten in 18 matches against Norwich.
9. A new referee for Liverpool
Sam Barrott has been confirmed as the referee for Sunday’s game, in what will be his first-ever match in charge of Liverpool.
10. Join us on TIA’s live blog
Liverpool vs. Norwich is live on ITV 1 from 1.55pm (UK) on Sunday, with kickoff at 2.30pm.
Alternatively, TIA’s matchday live blog will be running as always, with Henry Jackson trying not to cry thinking about Klopp, instead guiding you through the action.
Come on you Reds!