Brace yourselves Liverpool fans. It’s not going to be simple tonight against Exeter City!
And that’s because Jurgen Klopp’s hand is being forced enormously due to injuries, and isn’t selecting the remaining fit players anyway due to the upcoming Premier League fixtures with Arsenal and Manchester United.
According to Tony Barrett in the Times, this is the XI that will take the field at St. James’ Park:
Bogdan; Randall, Ilori, Enrique, Smith; Stewart, Brannagan; Kent, Teixeira, Ojo; Sinclair
The only senior players reportedly starting are backup stopper Adam Bogdan and Jose Enrique, the Spanish left-back who hasn’t played for us in 12 months.
Ryan Kent, Tiago Ilori, Kevin Stewart and Sheyi Ojo will be making their full Liverpool debuts, while Joao Teixeira, Jerome Sinclair, Cameron Brannagan, Brad Smith and Connor Randall have only a handful of first-team appearances between them.
In reality, we’re deploying an Under-21 side in the FA Cup 3rd round, but it’s probably the right decision.
With Jordon Ibe injuring his hamstring (via the Echo) and Christian Benteke’s achilles playing up, Klopp cannot risk a single first-team player ahead of our more important fixtures.
His squad is totally threadbare, currently suffering from the kind of injury crisis we’ve never seen as Liverpool fans.