Liverpool receive double boost for Shrewsbury FA Cup clash as Reds set to name unusual XI

EFL postpones Liverpool v Arsenal Carabao Cup tie due to Covid cases

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Liverpool could be handed a double boost for their FA Cup third-round encounter with Shrewsbury on Sunday after it was revealed that manager Jurgen Klopp could return to the dugout, while defender Joel Matip could be fit to play.

The duo were both absent for Liverpool’s Premier League encounter with Chelsea last Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Ahead of the clash with the League One side, Reds assistant coach Peter Krawietz addressed the media, where he confirmed the good news.

“We hope [Jurgen] will be involved,” said Krawietz. “He is fine. He has to do tests as well – we hope.

“Joel Matip joined training yesterday again but we have to see whether he is available or not.”

Liverpool were due to face Arsenal in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday night.

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But that game was postponed after an outbreak of the virus at Liverpool’s training centre.

The match against Shrewsbury is set to go ahead, although Liverpool could be forced to name an unusual side, with a string of first-team players still absent with COVID-19.

Young midfielder Leighton Clarkson was recalled from a loan spell with Blackburn Rovers earlier this month.

And Krawietz admits Liverpool will be forced to call upon their youngsters against Sunday’s visitors.

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“I can’t tell you exact numbers,” continued the 50-year-old. “We have a squad and a team – we will try to win the game.

“We have one loan player back. He will probably join the squad tomorrow. We are searching for options for this game nearly everywhere. We found enough players to build a team.

“The training ground being shut means no one could come here.

“We tried to stay in contact with our players during this period – just like we did in lockdown.

“Everyone is on their own and thanks to our great working department we were able to find solutions for the players.

“Some could go for a run outside. For those who couldn’t go outside, we tried to give them a programme.

“We had a few Covid cases with under-23s. Some are back now and we can choose a team that is able to follow our football way.

“We want to play a proper game tomorrow – compact, aggressive, attacking, playing good football.

“Shrewsbury will be tough because of their quality. [They’re] a team who play proper football – quick, forward, they want to attack – strong strikers and a compact defensive formation.

“They are a team that is well-managed, you can see that. They will have targets, our situation is not ideal.”

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