Liverpool will be aiming to get back to winning ways and progress to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup when they play hosts to Leicester City this midweek.
The last two quarter-final ties of the 2021/22 Carabao Cup will be played out on Wednesday night, with both encounters being all-Premier League affairs. Brentford will be facing Chelsea at home in a London derby in one of the clashes, while the other game will see Brendan Rodgers pit his Leicester City side against the mighty Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has largely opted to utilise fringe players and youngsters in the competition, but they have been good enough to carry the team to the Last-eight stage, after seeing off challenges from Norwich City (3-0) and Preston North End (2-0).
Having seen their eight-game winning streak come to an end against Tottenham last weekend, the Reds will be raring to get back on track with a victory on Wednesday.
As for Leicester, they beat Millwall 2-0 in the third round but were pushed to the brink by Brighton in the Round of 16, but they managed to eke out a penalty shootout victory.
The Foxes have been very inconsistent in this season but won their last game 4-0 against Newcastle United, after which point they had two of their games cancelled due to the Covid outbreak in the league. Facing a charged Liverpool side at Anfield could spell trouble for Brendan Rodgers & co.
The two teams are yet to play each other this season, but the last time Leicester travelled to Anfield in November last year, they were handed a 3-0 drubbing by Liverpool
Possible Liverpool Lineup
Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcantara remain sidelined after returning positive Covid tests, while Divock Origi is still not fit enough to make a return. Captain Jordan Henderson is back after missing the last game due to an illness but is unlikely to be risked from the start on Wednesday. Harvey Elliott remains a long-term absentee.
Jurgen Klopp is expected to ring in the changes for the game and give his regulars a break amidst a packed festive schedule. Caoimhin Kelleher will get a run-out in goal for the home team while Joe Gomez should also be handed a rare start at the heart of the defence, partnering Ibrahima Konate with Joel Matip likely to be given a rest. Neco Williams and Kostas Tsimikas will line up as the full-backs.
Tyler Morton, who had a difficult game against Tottenham over the weekend, should get another opportunity at the base of the Liverpool midfield against Leicester. The onus will be on him to cut out any threat the visitors’ midfield runners pose. He will likely have support from veteran midfielder James Milner while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return to the side in place of Naby Keita.
Up ahead in attack, there are likely to be wholesale changes as the trio of Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, and Mohamed Salah is likely to be rested. In their place, Takumi Minamino, Roberto Firmino and youngster Kaide Gordon are likely to get the nod on Wednesday night.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kelleher; Williams, Gomez, Konate, Tsimikas; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Morton, Milner; Gordon, Firmino, Minamino
Player to Watch – Roberto Firmino
From being an undisputed starter in attack, the Brazilian has found himself behind Diogo Jota in the pecking order in the ongoing campaign. The Portuguese international has stepped up brilliantly this season, already netting 11 goals in all competitions. So, the onus is on Firmino to up his game and force his way back into the side.
The 30-year-old had scored six goals in 13 games across all competitions before picking up a hamstring injury. Firmino will be looking to add to that tally and lead Liverpool to a victory on Wednesday, especially with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah unlikely to be involved.