There’s still a ways to go before Liverpool starts their FA Cup campaign, but late yesterday they learned who they would be facing in the Third Round of the competition when they were drawn against League Two side Exeter City.
The New Year will only be a few days old when the Reds make the trip to Devon between Friday January 8th and Monday January 11th giving new boss Jurgen Klopp his first taste of football’s oldest cup competition. With Europa League and League Cup commitments coupling with the always busy festive fixture period, the Anfield outfit will be well and truly worn out by the time they face off with Paul Tisdale’s side — though they’ll be heavily favoured to seal progression to the next round at St. James Park.
Although there’s a lot of football to play before then, the Grecians are currently in the mid-table mix in League Two, though they’re no more than a hop away from the play-off places. With eight wins and 30-points from 20-outings thus far, they’re a mere 2-points off of 7th placed Mansfield Town and only 5-points away from Accrington Stanley who are sitting pretty in 4th place. While a lot can change before January, there’s still quite a gulf between these two sides.
Coming off of a major let down at Newcastle United on Sunday, Liverpool are 7th in the Premier League and sitting 6-points off of bitter rivals Manchester United in the fourth and final Champions League spot. While a return to Europe’s most lucrative club competition is the real aim, Klopp isn’t turning his back on the domestic cup competitions and will be looking to make a run to the final in hopes of securing the Reds first major trophy since the 2011 / 2012 season — which, coincidentally, is the last time these two squared off with the Reds running out 3-1 winners en-route to lifting their eight League Cup.