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Youngsters key to success as Liverpool can reach FA Cup milestone

Liverpool’s youngsters will be key if they are to progress past Norwich in the FA Cup, and they could reach a milestone in doing so.

Norwich‘s task became a whole lot more difficult when Jurgen Klopp announced he would be stepping aside at the end of the season.

This fixture has thrown up plenty of goals in recent years, usually from one side and one player in particular, called Luis Suarez.

Liverpool will be without star man Mo Salah for this one. Instead, it will be up to Darwin Nunez and co. to fill in for the Egyptian in the goals department.

 

A mixed history

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 2, 2022: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino scores the first goal during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds lost the first first three FA Cup meetings against Norwich, but have since prevailed in the last three ties.

Norwich‘s win at Anfield in 1909, when they won 3-2 in the second round, was the first and, so far, only visiting non-league team to eliminate the Reds from the competition.

Norwich have scored in six of their last seven Anfield visits, but have scored only 11 times in the last 17 visits to the ground in league and cup.

Twice Liverpool have won two Anfield games against Norwich in the FA Cup and then gone on to lift the trophy.

Those occasions were in 1986, they won a third round tie 5-0 and defeated Everton in the final, and two years ago, when Takumi Minamino scored both goals in a 2-1 fifth round fixture.

In the last 13 games between the two clubs the Reds have scored at least three times in 10 of them, netting at least four goals on five occasions.

The Reds have scored in each of the last 18 encounters between the teams, since the 1-0 Norwich win at Anfield in 1994. That was also the last day of the standing Kop.

 

Youngsters have been key

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates after scoring the second goal, the club's 500th in the competition. during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Caoimhin Kelleher saved a penalty in Liverpool’s successful pursuit of the Carabao Cup in 2022. He saved from Christos Tzolis in the Reds’ 3-0 win at Carrow Road.

In that 2021 game, Conor Bradley and Kaide Gordon both made their Liverpool debuts.

Ibrahima Konate’s last Liverpool goal came in the FA Cup, in the semi-final win over Man City in April 2022.

Curtis Jones will celebrate his 23rd birthday two days after this game, and Jarell Quansah turns 21, the day after the match. Jones has made 14 appearances for Liverpool in the FA Cup, more than any current player.

Of the players currently available to Klopp, Harvey Elliott is the club’s leading scorer in the FA Cup with three goals.

 

A new referee and & milestone in sight

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates his side's openimg goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sam Barrott, from West Yorkshire, referees Liverpool for the first time in his career, and Norwich for the third time. He took charge his first Premier League game only last October.

This will be Liverpool’s 450th match in the FA Cup. They have won 240 of those, with 113 defeats and 96 draws.

The Reds are three goals short of recording 750 in the competition and need two goals to record 150 against Norwich.

 

This season’s scorers

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 24, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez shoots during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 18, Jota 11, Nunez 10, Gakpo 9, Diaz 7, Jones 4, Szoboszlai 4, Alexander-Arnold 2, Endo 2, Gravenberch 2, Elliott 1, Mac Allister 1, Quansah 1, Robertson 1, Van Dijk 1, own goals 5

Norwich: Rowe 13, Idah 7, Sara 6, Sargent 5, Barnes 4, Fassnacht 4, Sainz 3, Hwang Ui-jo 3, Batth 1, Duffy 1, McCallum 1, McLean 1, Placheta 1, Stacey 1, own goals 2


* Stats courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).