Liverpool VS Nottingham – LIVE Reddit Soccer 20/03/2022
Liverpool will be hoping to keep their quadruple dreams alive when they face Nottingham Forest in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup this weekend. Premier League giants Liverpool will be in action in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday evening when they travel to the City Ground to take on EFL Championship side Nottingham Forest. Liverpool have had a fairly straightforward run in the FA Cup, having eased past Shrewsbury Town, Cardiff City and Norwich City in the last three rounds of the tournament. The Reds are one of the most in-form teams in the country and have lost just one game in all competitions in 2022. Jurgen Klopp’s side head into Sunday’s game on the back of a crucial Premier League win over Arsenal.
Having lifted the Carabao Cup already, Liverpool have a chance of winning the quadruple as they are just a point behind Manchester City in the Premier League and have made it to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Standing in the way of their progression in the FA Cup are Nottingham Forest, who have been on a giant-killing run in the competition. Under the tutelage of former Liverpool youth team manager Steve Cooper, Nottingham Forest ousted Premier League sides Arsenal (1-0) and Leicester City (4-1) in their first two matches in the cup competition, before eliminating Huddersfield Town to set up a date with the Merseyside giants. Forest defeated QPR in their previous game to make it nine games unbeaten in all competitions.
Nottingham Forest have been dealt a fresh injury blow as key defender Scott McKenna has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. He joins fellow defenders Steve Cook and Max Lowe on the sidelines for the Championship outfit, along with key striker Lewis Grabban. McKenna’s absence is a headache for manager Steve Cooper, who might be forced to start in-form midfielder Ryan Yates as a centre-back. He will have Tobias Figueiredo and Joe Worrall as partners in the three-man backline in front of goalkeeper Ethan Horvath. Djed Spence, who has been in top form recently and is a target for Liverpool, should slot in at right wing-back, while Jack Colback should start on the left.
With Yates moving into the defensive unit, it should pave the way for Cafu to start in the centre of the park after a couple of impressive cameos off the bench recently. He will have Manchester United loanee James Garner alongside him, with the pair looking to stifle Liverpool’s attacking moves. Philip Zinckernagel will start as the No. 10 and will look to exploit the spaces between the lines to create chances for his teammates while posing a goal threat himself. Brennan Johnson, who has been a revelation, should occupy one of the two centre-forward slots alongside Keinan Davis, with Sam Surridge an option from the bench.
Jurgen Klopp will set his team up in the usual 4-3-3 formation at the City Ground. While Caoimhin Kelleher has been the preferred cup goalkeeper, the manager has confirmed that Alisson Becker will take the field on Sunday evening. Ibrahima Konate should replace Joel Matip as Virgil van Dijk’s partner, while Joe Gomez and Andrew Robertson slot in as the full-backs for the visiting side. There could be scope for some rotation in the centre of the park, with Klopp likely to deploy Jordan Henderson as the defensive midfielder in place of Fabinho. Curtis Jones should come into the starting XI as one of the two advanced midfielders, while Naby Keita is also likely to get the nod.
Klopp confirmed in his presser that Mohamed Salah had a knock after the Arsenal clash. The Egyptian may be rested for the FA Cup tie. Instead, Takumi Minamino could come into the side on the right flank, while Roberto Firmino, who scored in midweek, should get the nod through the middle. January signing Luis Diaz should continue on the left wing, although Divock Origi could be an option.
Forest are two-time winners of the FA Cup, last lifting the trophy in 1959, when they beat Luton Town in the final, and the Reds will be looking to pull off a shock result on Sunday to advance to the semi-finals.
Steve Cooper’s side have had to beat two Premier League clubs to reach this stage of this season’s competition, overcoming Arsenal by one goal at the City Ground on January 9 before thumping Leicester City 4-1 in the next round, ahead of a 2-1 success against Huddersfield Town last time out.
Forest will therefore be full of confidence heading into the contest, particularly as they have won their last three in all competitions, including back-to-back Championship successes over Reading and Queens Park Rangers, which has left them in eighth position in the table, one point behind sixth-placed QPR.
Absent from the Premier League since 1999, it would be some story if Cooper could lead the club back to England’s top flight, and they look more than capable of claiming a playoff spot this term.
The Reds have not actually lost a single match since the end of January, winning six and drawing three of their last nine games in all competitions, and they can fully focus on this contest, with their next Championship match not coming until April 2 away to Blackpool.
Having already won the EFL Cup this season, the quadruple is on for Liverpool, with the Reds closing to within one point of Premier League leaders Manchester City in the table courtesy of their 2-0 success over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have also been handed a favourable draw in the Champions League, being paired with Benfica in the quarter-finals, with the first leg due to take place in Portugal on April 5.
Liverpool have been comfortable in this season’s FA Cup, meanwhile, winning all three of their matches at Anfield against Shrewsbury Town, Cardiff City and Norwich City, but they must now travel to the City Ground in a bid to reach the final four of the famous competition.
The Merseyside giants have won the FA Cup on seven previous occasions, the last of which was in 2006, when they beat West Ham United on penalties, and Klopp is chasing his first silverware in this competition.
As mentioned, Liverpool have not faced Forest since a Premier League clash in April 1999, which finished 2-2, while they are unbeaten against the Reds since a 1-0 loss at the City Ground in March 1996, with Steve Stone netting the winner against Roy Evans’s side.