Liverpool turns their attentions to the Carabao Cup after a historic win at Old Trafford. The Reds travel to Deepdale to take on Preston North End with a place in the quarter-finals of the competition at stake. Liverpool have won the League Cup a record eight times, with Manchester City equalling that haul last season. We take a look at how we expect Jürgen Klopp to line up.
There are bound to be wholesale changes from the side that tore United apart. In goal, Alisson will get the night off, and with Kelleher suffering a setback in training, Adrian should make his first appearance in eight months. Ahead of him, Neco Williams and Kostas Tsimikas should line up at fullback. In the heart of defence, Joe Gomez captained the side in the last round against Norwich and should do so again here.
Virgil Van Dijk will also get the night off, so alongside Gomez could be either Matip, Konaté or Nat Phillips. With Matip given a rest for the trip to Old Trafford, it could be a quick return for him. Phillips hasn’t had any game time this season and is also staking a claim. I reckon Konaté will be the only starter from Sunday to retain his place though, with Matip likely to face Brighton.
The youngster was imperious against Ronaldo and should be given the chance to make his fourth appearance for the club here. In midfield, Tyler Morton is likely to come in for his full Liverpool debut with Fabinho, Milner, Keita, and Thiago all out injured and Henderson in need of a break. With Harvey Elliott still a long-term absentee, it leaves Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the only options left.
Ox needs minutes and should get his chance here. He was largely poor in the previous round against Norwich and will be looking to make a bigger impact this time. He’s enjoyed eye-catching cameos against Atleti and United now and really needs to kickstart his season. With the myriad of injuries in midfield, a pathway has opened up for him and it’s down to him to take it.
Upfront, Minamino, and Origi are nailed on starters. They both scored in the win over Norwich and will again be looking to get in amongst the goals here. With Kaide Gordon missing out after just recovering from an injury, I reckon it will be Mané that completes the front three. Sadio only played an hour in Madrid and a quarter of an hour on Sunday.
Against Championship opposition, he should be looking to get a goal or two to keep him ticking over. Another hour here won’t hurt. Several youngsters should make the bench, with a mix of seniors too. With five subs being approved for the rest of the competition, Jürgen Klopp can give a host of his squad minutes, depending on how the game goes.
Adrian, Williams, Konaté, Gomez, Tsimikas, Morton, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Minamino, Origi, Mané.
Subs: Pitaluga, Bradley, Phillips, Matip, Beck, Henderson, Balagizi, Jota, Musialowski.
- Wednesday’s clash is the first meeting between Preston North End and Liverpool since January 2009, when the Reds won 2-0 at Deepdale in an FA Cup tie.
- Preston are looking to reach the League Cup quarter-final for the first time in their history. They have been eliminated from 14 of their last 17 League Cup ties against top-flight opponents, beating Birmingham in 2002/03, Watford in 2015/16, and Bournemouth in 2016/17.
- Liverpool have progressed from 16 of their last 17 League Cup ties against sides from a lower division, with the exception being a shootout defeat to Northampton Town in 2010/11.
- Preston have scored more goals than any other side in the League Cup this season (11). Emil Ris Jakobsen is their highest scorer in the competition this term (4), netting in all three rounds so far.
- Liverpool striker Divock Origi has been directly involved in 12 goals in his nine starts in the League Cup, scoring 10 and assisting two.