WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) takes a look at Sunday’s televised FA Cup tie as Plymouth travel to Anfield for the first time in 55 years.
Liverpool v Plymouth | Sunday 13:30 | BT Sport 1
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool welcome a side 58 places below them in the Football League pyramid to Anfield on Sunday afternoon. These clubs haven’t met since 1962 when they were both in the Old Division Two. It’s what the FA Cup is all about, throwing up ties that haven’t been played for over 50 years.
Both teams sit second in their respective leagues. Argyle have been stuck in League Two for six seasons now but their six-point cushion over fourth place Portsmouth indicates this might finally be the year for a club that is historically used to the second tier.
The combination of Jake Jervis, Graham Carey and Jordan Slew going forward has been strong for the Green Army this season whilst the loans of Craig Tanner from Reading and Paul Garita from Bristol City have also worked out well; this game represents one of the last chances to make the most of those players before their contracts expire in 10 days.
Defensively Plymouth are also very solid. Only Luton have conceded less than them with just under a goal per game through 24 matches. There is no doubt that Derek Adams will field his strongest side possible.
When predicting how this game will pan out, the tough part is predicting the team that Klopp will play. It’s expected that he’ll go for some youth; the likes of Ovie Ejaria, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kevin Stewart like he did against Leeds, Derby and Spurs in the EFL Cup.
We can also expect a weaker, perhaps make-shift, defensive pairing of Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan. As a result, you could be forgiven for thinking that Plymouth have a chance. However, the way that Liverpool dismantled all of the above-mentioned teams in that cup competition would suggest that they could be cannon-fodder.
Sheyi Ojo and Ben Woodburn should also feature. These are all exciting players that Klopp is blooding in well. The mix of exciting youth and experience in Liverpool’s fairly deep squad now is putting me off any kind of Argyle based-bet.
Considering that Peterborough are 20/1 to beat Chelsea yet sit a league above the Devon club then you’d expect Plymouth to be closer to 33s but they are the same price. It means that Plymouth +2.5 on the Asian Handicap at 7/10 feels a little too short.
Woodburn Boy Wonder
I’d rather chance my hand at Liverpool’s record-breaker. Woodburn became the Red’s youngest ever scorer against Leeds in November at 17 years and 45 days, has six goals in 14 games for the Welsh national youth teams and has five goals and five assists in the U21 Premier League this season.
Some firms go closer to evens on the sensation netting with Betway at 5/4 but Paddy Power are 5/2 and that looks generous to me on a player that will be keen to continue impressing his manager after speaking about Klopp’s excellent team management in mid-week.
Liverpool v Plymouth - Ben Woodburn to score at anytime (5/2 PaddyPower)
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