8 Jan 2016

Liverpool XI vs. Exeter: Another massive injury blow; 9 big changes? 'New Deco' starts?

On Thursday, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted that he will have to 'make changes' for tonight's FA Cup match, and given formidable injury list at Anfield, it'll be interesting to see which young players make the cut against Exeter City.

In his pre-match press conference, Rodgers told reporters:

"We have to make decisions in this moment for the team, so we have to make changes. I don't know who is available. The team which will play will want to win this game for sure, but it will be a team that hasn't played too often together."

Pre-Match news:

* Jordan Ibe is the latest Liverpool player to pick up a hamstring injury, so he is ruled out of the game (along with Lovren, and Coutinho, who sustained the same injury last weekend).

* Klopp has this week recalled Sheyi Ojo, and Ryan Kent, and they are joined by Tiago Ilori, who has returned early from his loan spell at Aston Villa.

Liverpool have a lot of injuries, but in my view, that is not a major issue for this game, and should not be used as an excuse.

* Exeter City are in League Two, so even with a team full of youngsters, the Reds should be comfortably winning games like this.

* Young players like Smith, Brannagan, Ojo, Kent, and Teixeira collectively have experience of a higher level of football (Championship/Premier League/domestic cups), and their individual quality is (arguably) superior to League Two standard.

* Did I mention that Exeter City are in League Two, which is three divisions below the Premier League?

As such, whatever team Liverpool put out is (in theory) be good enough to beat Exeter, and for me, anything but a win is not an acceptable result.

Again: Exeter City are in LEAGUE TWO, and they're 16th in the table (only 7 places away from the semi-professional National League), so the notion that Liverpool will struggle due to injuries is (or should be) nonsense.

My preferred team:

----------------- Bogdan
Randall ---- Ilori -- Toure ---- Smith
---- Milner ----- Allen --- Brannagan
--------- Teixeira - Kent/Ojo
--------------- Firmino

(If Toure isn't fit, then Emre Can at centre-back alongside Ilori).

As noted yesterday: with all the injuries, if Teixeira doesn't play today, it will be an absolute disgrace.


You have until Friday 7.55PM (GMT) to make your predictions.

* 20 Points: First goalscorer.

* 20 Points: First Liverpool player to have a shot on target.

* 30 Points: Collective number of corners won (LFC)

* 50 Point Triple-Whammy: Perfect score + First goalscorer + shot on target (Possible points total: 120)

* The Lloyd Hopkins Mega-Bonus: 100 points for Perfect score + First goalscorer + shot on target + corners (Possible points total: 200)

Author: Jaimie K


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