Liverpool lose key man ahead of Chelsea FA Cup tie

The big game in the FA Cup fifth round takes place at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Chelsea take on Liverpool in an all-Premier League clash for a place in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool have picked a youthful side in each of their previous rounds in the competition, with the Reds making headlines during the fourth round clash with Shrewsbury Town.

Headlines were made first of all when the young Reds could only draw with their League One opponents, meaning the game had to go to a replay.

That replay was scheduled during the Premier League’s first ever winter break, and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp then made the headlines by saying neither he, nor his first team players, would be involved in the second clash, because they planned on sticking to their winter break plans.

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That left U23s coach Neil Critchley to take a group of young players for the game at Anfield – a match the Reds won 1-0 thanks to a late Neco Williams strike.

Jurgen Klopp will be in the dugout for the game at Stamford Bridge, having missed the fourth round replay, but Critchley will not be there.

Klopp may of course be planning on using a full-strength side, but if he were to have U23 players in the mix, he may have asked Critchley to join him in the dugout for the clash.

However, that will not be the case at Stamford Bridge after Critchley left Anfield for pastures news.

Critchley is no longer the U23s coach at Liverpool, leaving the club on Monday to take the vacant manager’s job at League One side Blackpool.

Critchley had also been in the dugout for Liverpool’s Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa, which took place the day before the Reds were in World Club Cup action against Monterrey in Qatar.