Shrewsbury Town vs Liverpool Preview: Last 16 beckons if Reds can avoid upset
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

A youthful Liverpool team will look to build on its memorable third-round victory against local rivals Everton when they travel to League One Shrewsbury on Sunday evening. 

A sublime Curtis Jones goal settled the derby, with the Reds defying the gulf in experience between the two sides.

They will now look to move into the FA Cup fifth round for the first time under Jurgen Klopp.

Standing in their way are a dreaming Shrewsbury side, who set up their meeting with the European champions by beating Bristol City 1-0 in a replay at New Meadow.

Sam Ricketts' men currently sit 16th in the third tier and have not won a league game since their 1-0 victory at Blackpool shortly before Christmas. 

But they are sure to rise to this almighty occasion as they seek a historic upset.

At this stage last season, they were drawn at home to Wolves, and it took a 93rd-minute Matt Doherty equaliser to a force a replay at Molineux.

Even on home soil, the Premier League side only scraped through, having trailed at halftime. 

Players to watch include joint top-scorers Jason Cummings and Josh Laurent and new midfield signing Josh Vela, who has joined from top-tier Scottish side Hibernian.

How will Liverpool line-up?

Klopp is likely to make 11 changes from the team that edged past Wolves on Thursday, with a midweek visit to West Ham United on the horizon.

Adrian will replace Alisson Becker in goal, while Neco Williams and Yasser Larouci are poised to come in at full-back after impressing against Everton.

Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren could make their returns from injury in the heart of defence after Nat Philipps returned to Stuttgart on loan.

Pedro Chirivella should start in the middle of the park alongside third-round matchwinner Jones and Adam Lallana, who missed the trip to Wolves with a virus.

Naby Keita could also be back in contention after more than three weeks out with a muscle injury.

The exciting Harvey Elliott is expected to start on the wing, with Divock Origi a likely shoo-in up-front. The remaining spot could go to Takumi Minamino in the absence of Xherdan Shaqiri, though the new arrival did complain of his tightness in his calf on Thursday night.

The managers

Sam Ricketts is relishing the occasion, even if he expects to ultimately bow out.

His only demand is maximum application from his players, and he is keen to see where that will lead.

“It’s certainly a free-hit, we aren’t expected to get anything from the game," he told the club website. "They are European Champions, World Champions, and potential Premier League Champions.

“We aren’t expected to do anything, there is no pressure on us what so-ever. At the same time, we want to enjoy the day. You enjoy these days by doing the right things and playing well.

“Win, lose or draw – we want to leave the pitch knowing we gave it our all. We will see nearer to the time what team Liverpool will put out. We have to be ready for whoever they put out.”

Based on Jurgen Klopp's pre-match comments, Ricketts can expect wholesale alterations from his opposite number.

"We are taking it one game at a time and the next game is Shrewsbury," the Liverpool boss said.

"We will have a team with fresh legs and we have players coming back from injury so it makes sense to play them, because they are pretty good, and we want to go through to the next round. It's a tough place to go, it always is in cup competitions."

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