This Tuesday evening sees Liverpool take on Shrewsbury Town in an FA Cup replay. The Reds have already confirmed that no first team stars will take part as they honour the Premier League winter break. Reserve team boss Neil Critchley has explained why it won’t be an U23 team that faces Shrewsbury Town.
The game was forced to a replay when The Reds surrendered a two goal leave in the original tie.
Curtis Jones opened the scoring early on when Pedro Chirivella found him in space with a slide rule pass.
The lead was doubled shortly after half time when the Salop haplessly tucked in an own goal.
Immediately after the game there was controversy when Jürgen Klopp confirmed he intended to honour the winter break as he had already promised his first team the time off and he had no intentions of ignoring the Premier League’s instructions.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference before the replay, Critchley told the press it won’t be an U23 side that faces Shrewsbury Town, explaining:
“People are saying we’re an under-23 team but we’re not, we’ll be an under-19 or under-20 team at best. There’s always people saying young players don’t get opportunity in this country,
“but they’ll get one tomorrow and already had one this season – that’s what the manager does”
What RTK has to say
The man’s got a point.
Pedro Chirivella will likely cut an ancient figure in the middle of midfield, his 22 years of age making him a granddad next to the likes of Harvey Elliott and Ki-Jana Hoever.
This Liverpool youth side are one of the strongest around and they will certainly make a decent fist of it.
On the TiFo sensible transfers podcast, the performance these youngsters put in against Napoli’s U19s was described by Seb Stafford-Bloor as “as impressive a demonstration of youth football [he’s] ever seen.”
One thing is for certain – U19s, U20s or U23s – this will be one helluva game.