Anfield: All Set
THE big day has finally arrived.
One of the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures in recent Green history takes Argyle to Anfield for the first time since a 2-1 Division 2 defeat in December 1961, when Johnny Williams was on target for Argyle.
This latest installment will see two teams, now at different ends of the football spectrum, but the current Argyle story is one of a club on the rise, competing for promotion from Sky Bet League Two and plans for a brand new Grandstand now under way.
Liverpool have been electric with their fabulous brand of expansive football in the Premier League this season and, while the Pilgrims have to match their high-tempo approach, the best form of defence could be expressing the attacking talent in our Pilgrim locker.
“We’ve got a lot of players who are good on the ball but this is a very tough game,” said manager Derek Adams. “We’re playing against multi-million pound footballers but we have to be capable on the ball because we will get possession at certain times in the game.
“Off the ball, we have to close them down and there will be lots of running because that’s what Liverpool do. We also need to be creative and take opportunities when they come our way.”
Our last FA Cup journey to a Premier League ground in the FA Cup was a 3-1 loss at Arsenal in 2009, a superb occasion when we played some great football and gave the Gunners a fright with a goal from Karl Duguid before Robin Van Persie sealed a home win.
The experience of playing in massive occasions will be particularly familiar to Graham Carey, a former youngster at Celtic and a relative veteran of playing at big stadia during his time in the Scottish Premiership.
His undoubted ability on the ball has made Graham a talismanic figure for Argyle this season and utilising our forward players could be the key to causing an upset, as well as posing a threat from set-piece situations.
“The surface at Anfield is fantastic and so is the stadium,” said Derek. “Graham [Carey] came from Celtic and when you play in Scotland, you have to play at grounds like Rangers and Celtic, which is a fantastic experience, and this will be the same.
“You never know what can happen and we will certainly go there and try to win. If we pull it off, it would be a major shock and I’m sure the place would be ecstatic if we managed to get a replay.
“Liverpool are kind of zonal at set-plays and we have to look at that to see if we can cause them problems. We also have to look at our delivery and we have got good delivery, which we showed against Barnet on Monday.
“We have to get our good players on the ball, create an opening and take our chance.”