Matthew Sinton brings you Rousing the Kop‘s match preview for the FA Cup fixture against Plymouth Argyle.
The FA Cup draw has been kind to us this year and we host Plymouth Argyle on Sunday. Given the quality of the opposition I’m expecting to see a very inexperienced side and I’m quite looking forward to seeing some of our young players again. This competition might not be our main focus but I really enjoy watching our academy stars.
On the same date last year, a young Liverpool side drew 2-2 away to Exeter to earn a replay, one which I remember very fondly for a second first team appearance and first goal for Sheyi Ojo. Having recently returned from injury and been in good form for the under 23s, I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t make the squad on Sunday.
There are a few other players I’m expecting to see. Trent Arnold, in particular, has impressed when given the opportunity this season so I’m sure he’ll start. Ben Woodburn, the name on everybody’s lips, should also make the starting eleven. Ovie Ejaria is also one of the club’s most exciting young prospects and will most likely play. Connor Randall will make an appearance (although I think Arnold is now far ahead of him in the pecking order). Kevin Stewart, who has now become more of a first team fringe player than a youth player, will certainly start.
Many fans might not be particularly interested in fixtures like this one, but they’re quite important for the development of our players. Many of the academy products who made their debuts in the early rounds of the FA Cup last season went on to make a number of appearances in the league towards the end of the season (with varying success). Although we have a few more established youth prospects this time round – with Ejaria, Woodburn and Arnold regularly making the bench in league fixtures – maybe we’ll see a few new faces this time round. Harry Wilson and Toni Gomes, for example, are yet to make their first-team debuts. Could we see them step onto the Anfield pitch for the first time?
Plymouth Argyle are actually second in League Two, but they’re still a League Two side. Especially at home, even an inexperienced side should see them off with ease. Here’s my lineup:
I certainly hope we continue to be so lucky with the draw because that’ll mean we get more matches like this, and the first team players can continue to focus on the league. It’s not an important fixture but I’m still looking forward to it. Let’s hope we get an exciting match!