FA Cup ties against lower league sides always promise to be feisty and energy-sapping encounters which is why Sunday’s third round clash with Plymouth can be an important lesson for Liverpool’s youth stars.
Modern football demands an impetus towards technical ability when it comes to the development of academy products and therefore sometimes fails to prepare youngsters for the physical challenge they will come up against.
Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria is expected to feature at the weekend and has recognised how the Reds must dominate in both areas of the game.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “You’ve just got to match them in the ugly side of the game, really, and then hope that the technical side of the game will eventually show and help us win the game. But we know it’s not going to be easy, it’s a massive competition, so I’m just hoping I can get an opportunity to play really.”
This weekend’s game poses as a great opportunity for the likes of Ejaria, Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold to learn on the job by getting more experience in a highly competitive and hard fought cup game.
It will be a useful test of their fight, work rate and their ability to take responsibility and help see Liverpool through to the next round in the absence of first team regulars.
More minutes for the first team means significant progress for Ejaria with regards to him combining his influence on the ball and his work for the team.