On the face of it, the 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday felt like a routine – albeit very entertaining – victory for Liverpool. But, as you sense there will be more of, plenty of records tumbled as the Reds’ astonishing start to the season continues at pace. The triumph took our lead at the top of the Premier League table to 22 points, and that is the largest margin at the end of a day in top-flight history.
The win was also our twentieth consecutive Premier League triumph at Anfield – also a new record, and means that Jurgen Klopp’s men are now zoning in on the longest unbeaten home run of any Liverpool side in history; the legendary Bill Shankly team of 1972 currently holds that mantle.
When Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain fired home against his old club just after half-time, he probably wasn’t aware of any of that!
The Ox’s goal came after a bright first period that the Reds dominated without being able to find an opening, so it was a relief when the midfielder broke through to open the scoring.
The Anfield faithful had to wait another 13 minutes for the second, when Jordan Henderson – surely in the form of his life right now – curled home to double our advantage, before a late double-salvo from Mo Salah added some nice gloss to the scoreline.
The Saints created the odd chance of their own, but once again Liverpool prevailed with relative comfort.
Klopp has given his first-team squad – and himself – the week off to sped as they please, which is a welcome opportunity for the lads to recharge their batteries.
As such, it means a youthful starting eleven will take on Shrewsbury Town in this FA Cup fourth round replay at Anfield on Tuesday, with Under-23s boss Neil Critchley again taking on management duties.
Liverpool Team News
It will be a rather youthful Liverpool team that takes to the pitch on Tuesday night, although Klopp will surely take the opportunity to give some game time to players who need it.
As such, a case can be made for the likes of Adrian, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Adam Lallana, Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino all to start here.
There may well be a place for Xherdan Shaqiri too as he battles back to full fitness, and these experienced faces will be supplemented by the next generation of Liverpool stars.
Neco Williams and Yasser Larouci are likely to start in the full back positions, with Lallana and Keita supplemented by Curtis Jones in midfield.
In attack, Harvey Elliott will be given the nod on the right flank, with Minamino through the middle and Shaqiri playing as a narrow support man in behind the Japanese star.
Shrewsbury Town Form
This is the biggest game of these Shrewsbury Town players’ lives, and probably the only chance that most – if not all – of them will get to play at Anfield. They will surely raise their game accordingly.
And it’s a good job for their sake, too, because their form in League One is derisory at best.
A run of W0 D3 L4 tells its own story, with just five goals scored in that time and a run without a clean sheet that dates back to before Christmas.
The Shrews will perform to a level greater than the sum of their parts here, but will it be enough?
Liverpool vs Shrewsbury Town Betting Tips
Anybody planning on having a bet on this game is given one piece of advice: wait until around 7pm on Tuesday before putting your money on.
At that point, you will know more about Jurgen Klopp’s team selection and whether the available prices are good value or not.
It should be said that this preview was written on Monday, and at the current time Liverpool – based on the starting eleven we’ve proposed above – are excellent value at the 8/11 mark.
However, if Klopp decides not to field any of the more experienced campaigners we have named, and instead opts for a solely under-23s style line-up, then those 8/11 odds will surely lengthen quite markedly.
It’s a rare occasion when a bet will reveal itself less than an hour before kick off, but all things being equal an experienced Liverpool starting eleven will be excellent value at 8/11 to win this game.