The Reds won a record-breaking ninth EFL Cup crown on Sunday by defeating Chelsea in a tense penalty shootout, while the Canaries most recently went down 2-0 to Southampton.
Jurgen Klopp certainly won the tactical goalkeeping battle with compatriot Thomas Tuchel at Wembley, as the Reds boss’ faith in Caoimhin Kelleher was rewarded while Tuchel’s late Kepa Arrizabalaga decision backfired horribly.
After 120 minutes of wasted opportunities and disallowed goals galore in the EFL Cup final, Liverpool and Chelsea struck 21 perfect penalties before Kepa – brought on specifically for the 12-yard battle – blazed over the bar to spark Liverpool delirium.
Now the most successful team in the history of the EFL Cup with nine titles to their name, Liverpool quickly turn their attention to another prestigious knockout tournament – one which Klopp has flattered to deceive in during his Anfield tenure so far.
A pair of comfortable Anfield victories over Shrewsbury Town and Cardiff City saw the Reds advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup for just the second time in seven seasons, and not since reaching the 2014-15 semi-finals have the Merseysiders managed to progress further.
A first FA Cup triumph since 2006 is on the menu as Klopp aims to keep Liverpool’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple alive, and Norwich must now face a Reds side enjoying a 10-game winning streak in all competitions and without defeat at Anfield for nearly a year.
Norwich were Liverpool’s earliest victims en route to their EFL Cup crown, and their fortunes have not enjoyed a dramatic uplift since the arrival of Dean Smith, whose side were outclassed and outgunned against Southampton on Friday night.
Che Adams bundled home the opener for the resurgent Saints before the half-time whistle blew, and an Oriol Romeu thunderbolt in the 88th minute condemned the Canaries to a third straight defeat amid their scrap for Premier League survival.
Holding the unfortunate honour of being the Premier League’s basement side, Smith is sure to prioritise top-flight survival rather than an unlikely shot at glory in the FA Cup, especially with Norwich only making it past the fifth round once since 1992.
A pair of 1-0 wins over Charlton Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers – the latter of which was particularly eye-catching – have allowed Norwich to make it this far, but with nine goals conceded in their last three games, the Canaries will not be expecting miracles against a rejigged Liverpool side.
Liverpool and Norwich locked horns at Anfield as recently as February 19 – with the Reds easing to a 3-1 success in the Premier League for their sixth straight win in this fixture, and the Canaries are still waiting for their first victory over the Merseyside giants since 1994.
We say: Liverpool 2-0 Norwich City
A weakened Liverpool side could have Norwich sensing the opportunity for an upset, but the levels of morale in both camps could hardly be more contrasting.
The Reds will be in no mood for complacency on Wednesday and have produced dominant performance after dominant performance against Norwich, so Klopp’s men should keep the quadruple dream alive with a convincing success.