Liverpool are relying on teenagers to keep them in the FA Cup and continue their Treble dream. It’s the ultimate goal of any top side and this season is the Reds’ best chance.
Liverpool will win the Premier League this year. That’s pretty much certain, given their 22-point lead at the top of the table. It’s also very difficult to look past them as favourites for the Champions League.
They won it last year, of course, and look even better this campaign. Who could realistically stop them? There doesn’t appear to be anyone around who can. 24 wins from 25 games suggests that, surely.
And so, quite strangely, the least likely part of the Treble is the FA Cup. It’s the one that should really be the most routine and yet the Reds might not make the last 16.
Domestically, no one has beaten Liverpool’s first-team this season. Which is the exact way you win the FA Cup, after all. While the league is a test to find who can perform the best against everyone, the FA Cup is literally a test to see who can avoid defeat the longest.
It should, therefore, be Liverpool’s competition. But Shrewsbury Town now look like stiff opposition, as it won’t be the Reds’ first-team on Tuesday.
Instead, it’ll be “an under-19 or under-20 team at best” as Neil Critchley put it on Monday. So the kids have an opportunity to play their part as Liverpool chase a historic Treble.
But it won’t surprise many if they lose to Shrewsbury. They’re up against far more experienced players, after all, in a regular team. The same can’t be said for any probably Liverpool lineup.
Liverpool have dominated football like few ever have this season. But that Treble dream may just be beyond them and Shrewsbury look like the toughest test they’ll face.