Shrewsbury Town may have their best ever opportunity to stun Liverpool as Steve Cotterill’s side return to Anfield a lot quicker than expected.
The six-time Champions League winners are used to adversity. One only has to look at the famous club’s history to know that the Reds are well equipped to deal with any challenges that come their way.
But coronavirus is causing problems that everyone in society was not prepared to deal with. Liverpool have a number of players forced into self-isolation, and whilst their period in quarantine ends prior to the game, they may not be risked.
Dutch international Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho, Curtis Jones, goalkeeper Alisson, Roberto Firmino, and Joel Matip are all either recently recovering from the virus or have been forced to self-isolate as a result of being identified as a close contact.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also recently tested positive, whilst assistant boss Pep Lijnders also has coronavirus. To compound matters further, the African Cup of Nations is about to commence, with Liverpool missing a key trio of players. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita will be representing Egypt, Senegal, and Guinea respectively.
Defender Nat Phillips, who has recently been the subject of a £7 million bid from an unnamed Premier League side, could be absent through a fractured cheekbone which he sustained against AC Milan. Former Bayern Munich and Barcelona midfielder Thiago has a hip problem, whilst Takumi Minamino has a muscle issue.
Belgian striker Divock Origi, who has become a bit of a cult hero due to goals against Everton and Barcelona, has a knee injury. Youngster Harvey Elliott will play no further part this season due to a serious ankle injury.
These sides meet for just the fourth time. Town will have found memories of the January 2020 home fixture, which saw Jason Cummings notch a brace to rescue a 2-2 draw and force a replay.
Steve Cotterill will be sweating over the fitness of star man Dan Udoh. The Nigerian who has been scoring goals for fun as of late, sustained a hamstring injury during the 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday. It is not known whether or not the ex AFC-Telford man will be fit enough to play.
Youngster Tom Bloxham can return to the fold after serving the final match of his three game suspension, whilst Shaun Whalley remains a long-term absentee.
Possible Line Ups
62. Kelleher, 76. Williams, 12. Gomez, 5. Konate, 63. Beck, 7. Milner, 80. Morton, 82. Waltman, 15. Oxlade-Chamberlain, 49. Gordon, 85. Balagizi
Subs: 3. Robertson, 13. Adrian, 17. Jones, 20. Jota, 21. Tsimikas, 78. Quansah, 84. Bradley,
1. Marosi, 5. Pennington, 4. Ebanks-Landell, 23. Nurse, 17. Bennett, 10. Vela, 16. Davis, 3. Leahy, 14. Ogbeta, 12. Bowman, 18. Bloxham
Subs: 6. Pierre, 9. Cosgrove, 11. Udoh, 13. Burgoyne, 15. Pyke, 19. Caton, 22. Daniels