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SHREWSBURY TOWN 4-02-20 FAC 4 (REPLAY) (H)

This is the game nobody wanted unless you happen to be an U23 player with a chance to play in front of a big crowd at Anfield.  I thought there were first team players who could benefit from playing in this one but Klopp has decided to make a stand and maybe the U23 lads can produce a more cohesive performance than a mix and match team.  The U23 team that beat Arsenal on Saturday was lacking eleven regulars so it is a fair bet the missing lads will all start, which will give us a stronger team than faced Villa in the League Cup.  I suggest the team will be:

Kellaher

Williams Hoever VanDemBerg ?

Clarkson Chirivella Jones

Eliott Hardy Millar

The ? at left back is because first choice Larouci was injured in a mid-week game last week and is a doubt.  Lewis would be the natural cover but he is only just working back to fitness after a long-term injury.  So the other alternatives are Gallagher or Norris.

The above team is very similar to the one I saw taking apart Southampton U23s a couple of weeks ago (5-0) and is a very good one at U23 level.  Whether their natural ability can overcome Shrewsbury's greater physicality is the big question.  Personally I doubt it.  I think that Shrewsbury will be too strong for them especially from set pieces which we don't defend particularly well.  However, I look forward in the hope that I am wrong.  Whatever the outcome we can be sure that the young lads will give 100% and won't go down without a fight.

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  • I've managed to catch up with the highlights of the match and I must say the first thing that hit me was the similarity in play between the first team and U23's, the way they moved the ball about and the use of the fullbacks was very much like a Klopp team. They weren't bullied either, even though the ref let Shrewsbury off some pretty hefty tackles. A bit more composure in front of goal and it could've been a comprehensive defeat of Shrewsbury which is really something given the how young the lads are.
  • I just want to give a mention to a couple of the young lads who seem to have slipped below the radar, Jake Cain and Leighton Clarkson. These boys played the first half of the season in the U18s and only moved permanently into the U23s a few weeks ago when Herbie Kane and Isaac Christie-Davis went out on loan. To go from facing U18 opponents to facing a very physical set of hardened pros that was Shrewsbury was a huge challenge for them, especially given they are small lads. However, I thought they were both brilliant, never shirking the physical challenge and always composed on the ball. They were a credit not just to Neil Critchley but also to the work of Barry Lewtas with the U18s.
    • Thank you for sharing your knowledge on the 18s and 23s Huytonian, always good to give credit where it's due. They all done the club proud and can hold their heads up high.
      Lovely lobbed header for the winner by the way, hahaha!
  • What a performance by the youngsters! I thought Shrewsbury's physicality would be too much for them but they fought really hard all over the pitch and fully deserved the win. It was just like watching first team except for the lack of a cutting edge (Brewster might have made a difference there). Jones and Williams were brilliant but I was also impressed, for the first time since he joined the Club, by VanDemBerg. He won everything in the air and looked far more confident than I have seen him in earlier games. It will be interesting to see what sort of team Klopp puts out in Round 5 at Chelsea.
    • I think he might do a mix of senior and younger for the Chelsea game whilst definitely prioritising the Lge and rightly so. Getting to the buisiness end of the cup now so maybe some less game time for the 23's and 18's. Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me if Klopp kept faith in the youngsters and played them again.
    • The team to play Chelsea also gave me thought or two. Would prefer the 1st eleven and give some of the youngsters some game time in the league with a 22 point gap as a cushion
      • No way Red, no game time for kids in the Lge unless we're winning 5-6-7 nil which we don't do. Unless we get to the stage where it's mathamathicaly impossible for anyone to catch us, only a matter of time i feel, we go all out with our first 11, let's not take any chances with this golden opportunity we have.
        • I read you loud and clear Warrior. Klopp will know what has to be done and this winter break should rejuvenate the players
          • Normally i would be concerned about us having a break, as in killing our momentum, but i think we're way past all of that now. We usually don't do well in January but we put that to bed this season. I think, like you said, this break will recharge their batteries and they'll come back even better and with a few first teamers back of injury now it all bodes well for an even better 2nd half of the season, if that's possible.
  • Fairplay to the kids, fantastic achievement. I bet all the other teams are pissed off we're still in the FA cup, hahaha.
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