Shrewsbury Town defender Aaron Pierre hoping to spring an upset on hero Virgil Van Dijk
Shrewsbury’s Aaron Pierre is hoping not to see a masterclass from his defensive hero on Sunday.
Pierre will be in the side as Town play host to Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round.
Whether Virgil van Dijk makes the visitors’ starting XI remains to be seen, with Jurgen Klopp having picked a much-changed side in the last round.
Van Dijk has been a revelation at Anfield since his £75million move from Southampton, narrowly missing out on the Ballon d’Or in 2019.
And 26-year-old centre-half Pierre admits the Liverpool man is somebody he tries to learn from.
“He’s someone I look up to and try to take notes from as well,” said Pierre, a summer signing from Northampton.
“Hopefully he plays and I nick his top! I’ve told everyone already that if he plays I’ll be trying to get his top.”
The visit of the Premier League leaders in front of the BBC cameras will be the biggest game of their career for Pierre and many of his team-mates.
“I’ve played against Tottenham and Aston Villa in the FA Cup but this is Liverpool,” added Pierre.
“It’s a different ball game against a team that’s unbeaten.
“Hopefully we somehow do it. The odds are very slim but anything can happen on the day.
“You see a lot of upsets in the FA Cup and that’s what its all about. Hopefully we can do something like that.
“It’s going to be a tough game, like everyone knows, but we are the underdogs and we have nothing to lose. We will try our best to put in a great performance and just go for it.
“It would be massive to play at Anfield (in a replay) because I’ve never played there and it’s a massive, historical stadium. Hopefully we can put in a good performance and if we get to go to a replay there then even better.”
It is thanks to Pierre that a sell-out crowd will be at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Sunday to enjoy a momentous day in Town’s history.
The Grenada international struck the winner in the third-round replay against Bristol City, a spectacular strike from 30 yards.
So how many times has he watched the goal back?
“At least 10 times!” laughed Pierre. “It was a very big moment for me and a very big moment for the club and I was happy that it came to me.
“We had been under a lot of pressure in the second half, especially the last 10/15 minutes. I told Jason (Cummings) to do a one-two and I saw a little gap and went for it.
“I tried my best to keep it as low as I could and it was probably the sweetest strike I’ve had in my life. I would love another one against Liverpool!
“We have to make sure we’re defensively solid and just defend well as a team. When we get the ball we can be creative and attack in the final third.”