Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he will not use any senior players for his side’s FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury, nor will he manage the game himself – leaving the occasion to Under-23s manager Neil Critchley.
The Reds will require a second attempt to get the better of the League One side, after a Jason Cummings double overturned a commanding Liverpool lead at New Meadow to secure a famous 2-2 draw for the Shrews.
The draw comes a blow not just to the Reds’ pride, but to their burgeoning fixture schedule, with the replay landing just days after their Premier League clash with Southampton. It will likely represent their sixth game in quick succession and falls within the winter break for top-flight sides – a two-week period designed to give players some much-needed respite after a hectic Christmas period.
Klopp, however, is not prepared to detract from his senior stars’ short break. According to The Athletic’s James Pearce, the boss confirmed after the draw in Shrewsbury that his first-team players will not be involved – nor will he or his assistant Pep Lijnders, as he leaves the game in Critchley’s hands.
The development has raised further questions on the credibility of the oldest cup competition in the world.