Liverpool in Shrewsbury's sights - would it be the biggest FA Cup shock of all?

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'Knocking Liverpool out of the FA Cup would be unbelievable' - Shrewsbury boss Ricketts
FA Cup: Shrewsbury Town v Liverpool
Venue: Montgomery Waters Meadow Date: Sunday, 26 Feb; Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch live coverage on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, Connected TVs and online; listen to match commentary on BBC local radio and BBC Sounds; follow text updates on the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

In the red corner are the world and European champions, the title winners in waiting who some are calling the best team the Premier League has seen.

And in the blue corner? Shrewsbury Town.

The club currently 16th in League One take on Jurgen Klopp's all-conquering Liverpool side at Shrewsbury's 10,000-capacity Montgomery Waters Meadow on Sunday.

If Shrewsbury were to triumph, manager Sam Ricketts suggests, it might just be the biggest of all FA Cup shocks.

"I think it would be right up there," the 52-times capped former Wales international told BBC Sport Wales.

"They are a long way clear in the Premier League with games in hand.

"They are European champions, club world champions. They just win everything in sight and they don't always have to play well.

"In the last round they changed everything and they still beat Everton's first team.

"Something very special is happening at Anfield."

Something special in Shropshire this weekend?

"I can't imagine they will come down to the Meadow full strength," says Shrewsbury's veteran former Wales midfielder Dave Edwards.

"Our pitch won't be as good as Anfield and the stadium is not quite what they are used to, so we have to use all those things to our advantage."

In 2015, Phil Parkinson's Bradford City - who were then in the third tier - beat Premier League leaders Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round.

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Then Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho branded the result a disgrace. Others called it the greatest upset the competition had seen.

Non-league Hereford's win over Newcastle in 1972 was another of the cup's most memorable upsets, as was 1987 Cup winners Coventry's exit at the hands of Conference club Sutton United in 1989.

This history of the cup is littered with tales of minnows toppling giants, but few would compare to a Shrewsbury success against Liverpool's current crop of Goliaths.

"Any result we can get out of the game is an upset," added Ricketts. "If we knocked them out it would be unbelievable wouldn't it?

'Next best thing to playing'

A defender who played in all four divisions - as well as what is now the National League - Ricketts retired in 2016 having racked more than 500 club appearances.

He was appointed Wrexham manager in 2018 and impressed in seven months at the Racecourse before taking the Shrewsbury job, where he now has his old Wrexham number two Graham Barrow as his assistant.

Having kept the club in League One last season, Ricketts' plan is to "keep punching above our weight" by steering his team into the third tier's top half.

"Managing is the next best thing to playing," he says. "You are working all hours of every day. It's an early start and a late finish.

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Highlights: Shrewsbury Town 1-0 Bristol City

"But we have got a good thing going on here. We are making slow and steady progress and that's the right way to do it."

Ricketts' ambition is to do as a manager what he did as a player and reach the Premier League having started out at the other end of the spectrum.

The immediate focus, though, is on trying to get the better of Klopp.

"He has done an unbelievable job. He is rightly classed as one of, if not the best, managers in the world. His team have set the bar at new levels."

No club has come up with a way to stop Liverpool in the Premier League since Manchester City beat them 2-1 in January 2019.

And, even if the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah do not make the trip south to Shrewsbury, Ricketts' team ought to have no chance.

"We have to have 11 players who play to their maximum," said Ricketts. "And we have to have luck with us. That always comes into play in the FA Cup.

"We know it's going to be tough, but certainly it's a game we are relishing.

"I am not saying they won't relish it, but it's not the one they were hoping would come out of the hat."