Mersey Sport Live provides our line-up prediction for Liverpool’s clash against Derby County in the third round of the EFL Carabao Cup at Anfield.
The Reds took the trophy back to Liverpool last year for the ninth time as they beat Chelsea on penalties at Wembley and will be hoping to make it 10 this season. That starts with Derby County at Anfield on Wednesday night (9 November), 8pm kickoff.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has made very few changes in his starting line-up recently, during a sporadic run of form that has seen league wins over Manchester City and Tottenham but losses against Leeds United and Nottingham Forest.
However, the lower status of the competition, combined with the looming World Cup and Premier League clash against Southampton at the weekend, means we are more likely to see some rotation in Klopp’s squad.
Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz are long term injuries, contributing to what has been described as an injury crisis for the Reds. Klopp will also be keen not to see any names added to that list.
Caoimhin Kelleher is yet to appear this season, but is the obvious goalkeeping choice for Klopp. Being referred to as ‘Kelleher’s Competition’, the 23 year-old was dubbed the star of the show in the tournament last season after making some incredible saves in the final at Wembley. He is a player who has more than proved he is deserving of a place in the team.
Defence shouldn’t be a difficult decision, with new summer arrival Calvin Ramsay making his debut in the Champions League last week. If selected, this would be his first professional start for the club. Joining him could be Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips, who would be a powerful centre-back pairing. Kostas Tsimikas is likely to take right-back to complete a solid defence.
Another full debut in the midfield could potentially go to Stefan Bajcetic, who has been preforming well with the U-21s and off the bench for Klopp’s side. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t been getting as many minutes as expected and could figure. It looks as if Harvey Blair may start in his place of the injured Kaide Gordon – a youngster who racked up minutes in the competition last year away to Preston North End.
Klopp has a difficult decision to make here. Curtis Jones could be likely to start after he was featured in the starting XI in the Champions League win against Napoli last week. Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott could be the most obvious choices here, with both playing important roles in the first team. This would give them an opportunity to be the most experienced in the squad.