Ben Morgan looks forward to tonight’s Carabao Cup clash as Liverpool travel to the King power to take on Leicester, including team news for both sides, and what we could expect to see in the game.
So Liverpool begin their campaign in the Carabao cup with a tricky away clash at the king power, which has not proved to be Liverpool’s favourite away day in past times. One instant memory that springs to mind was from Leicester’s sensational title winning season back in 2016, Liverpool travelled to the king power and met the full force of Leicester’s title challenge, with Jamie Vardy scoring a spectacular goal from distance. Leicester since then, have struggled, a mid-table finish last year and a poor start this year means the pressure is on Craig Shakespeare, and they face a Liverpool side who have made the final and semi – finals in each of the last 2 League cup competitions. Champions League and Premier League commitments however mean a much changed Jurgen Klopp side can be expected in tonight’s encounter.
Team News – Liverpool:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will make his first start for Liverpool tonight. The versatile midfielder joined in the summer from Arsenal for a fee in the region of £35million, and has so far been restricted to substitute appearances. Manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed though, that ‘The OX’ needs time to adapt to Liverpool’s style of play “We are working on it. We are obviously together with him and the analysts to show him how we want to play him in this position and that position. So there is work to do but there is no rush. That just how it is but it is really good that he is here.” Third choice keeper is expected to be named in goal for Liverpool. Dominic Solanke could be involved from the start, whilst there may be opportunities from Marko Grujic and Ben Woodburn in midfield. Players such as Jon Flanagan may be hoping for some game time as well after Klopp confirmed that he will be “in the mix”. There could also be some involvement for Danny Ings. The striker has been undergoing his recovery from injury with the U-23s and after not been included in yesterday’s U-23s game, he could be in line for some game time tonight.
Team News – Leicester:
Leicester could be without star striker Jamie Vardy. The English International could be out with a groin issue, but will be assessed tonight before the game. The Leicester boss had been speaking about this situation in his press conference; “He has had continuous treatment and we will give him every opportunity to be fit, but he won’t be one to risk. We will assess him, but I am very confident he will be fit for Saturday.” Elsewhere the Foxes will be without defenders Christian Fuchs and Robert Huth, with eye and angle injuries respectively, while Matty James has an Achilles issue. There could be a chance for £25million man Kelechi Iheanacho. The striker joined the Foxes from Manchester City in the summer, and could be given a chance to live up to his price tag. Winger Demari Gray could also be in contention for a starting spot.
What can we expect?
The Reds are in poor form. They have failed to win in their last 3 games in all competitions and have shipped 8 goals in those 3 games. Defensive frailties could be a defining factor in what the Reds can accomplish this season, and they will need to make sure they are solid at the back at the King Power. Jurgen Klopp will have a much changed side which again could pose some risks, with players keen to make an impression, meaning mistakes could be likely. The attacking depth the Reds have should prove too much for the foxes however. The attacking threat the Reds pose is huge, with pace and power going forward, they just need to be more decisive with the killer pass, and they will have the perfect formula to score many goals. Leicester however, will be hoping to get one over Liverpool, like they have done in the past 2 meetings at the King Power.
The next round will be the goal that drives Liverpool tonight. The Reds have a long standing history with the League Cup, having won it more times than anyone else, but with having won only one game against Premier League opposition in the League Cup in their last 5 encounters, Shakespeare’s Foxes will be hoping it remains just the one victory and another defeat for Klopp’s Reds.