Predicted Liverpool FC Starting XI vs Shrewsbury Town (FA Cup)

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It has been a whirlwind week for Liverpool. The club has been hit hard by COVID, and they were forced to postpone their Carabao Cup semifinal do to only having 10-11 players available midweek.

Liverpool’s FA Cup tie on Sunday against Shrewsbury Town is expected to go ahead, but the Reds will have a makeshift team based on who is available. Little information has come out of the Liverpool camp this week about the situation, other to say it will be a mixture of veterans and youngsters that make up the squad.

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Goalkeeper

Rumors circulated last week that the entire goalkeeping room for Liverpool had contracted the virus. While in normal situations he wouldn’t play in the game, Alisson was one of the first players to get the virus, and should be out of quarantine to be able to play.

If Caoimhin Kelleher or Adrian is available, they would be likely options, but it is unclear if they are.

Defense

One of the few names talked about during Saturday morning’s press conference was Joel Matip. Assistant Peter Krawietz said Matip returned to training Friday and should be in contention to play Sunday.

virgil van dijk

Virgil van Dijk also cleared Covid protocol earlier in December and is an option to play.

Ideally Joe Gomez would get into the line-up and get some playing time, but it is unclear if he is healthy or not. As for outside backs, it is unclear who is and is not available. If healthy Andy Robertson is an option to start and get some minutes for Liverpool.

Robertson’s three-game suspension for his red card against Tottenham is over, and Sunday could be a good chance to ease him back into the swing of things.

Neco Williams would be a good option at right back, but Liverpool also showed that he can play up front if needed. If Williams is out or needed up top, Conor Bradley could get the start at right back.

andrew robertson

Midfield

Tyler Morton is likely to start in the midfield. While not a fool-proof system, he was interviewed by Liverpool in-house media to preview the game. Usually that means the player will be part of the line-up.

Fabinho and Curtis Jones also have previously returned from Covid illness, so should be available.

Leighton Clarkson has returned from loan and will be part of the squad, but it is unclear on his role. Jordan Henderson and James Milner are also potential starters.

Attack

One thing is clear, Liverpool will not have Mo Salah or Sadio Mane Sunday. It is unlikely Liverpool play Diogo Jota unless they absolutely have to. Roberto Firmino was out with Covid against Chelsea, but has a chance to clear protocol.

Takumi Minamino could also benefit from game-time if healthy. Kaide Gordon is a youngster that could get an opportunity on Sunday. Liverpool could use Curtis Jones, Neco Williams or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain up top. But again, it comes down to availability.

Predicted Liverpool Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Neco Williams, Curtis Jones, Tyler Morton, James Milner, Takumi Minamino, Roberto Firmino, Kaide Gordon.

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