While we have had a fantastic start to our Premier League campaign this season, we have plenty to play for as we look to be taking the Carabao Cup more seriously this season.
This is a relief for me. I’ve always felt that we should be playing to win every competition and not just playing the youngsters for the sake of it, as I feel that those players don’t learn anything from those experiences.
Not only that, but it makes us look foolish when it backfires on us. So Pep Lijnders’ comments yesterday was a pleasure to hear.
We head into this match with a few injury concerns. Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip are still unavailable for the Reds. Billy Koumetio had a late fitness test yesterday after missing training, but it is still unclear whether he will feature, the club’s official website revealed.
We will face a Lincoln City side that are undefeated this season, winning every game in all competitions. The Imps reached this stage of the competition after beating Crewe Alexandra 2-1 and demolishing Bradford City 5-0 away from home. Michael Appleton’s side will ensure that his team will not be pushovers tonight.
Taking everything above into consideration, here’s who I think will line-up for Liverpool tonight at the LNER Stadium.
I believe it will be a gentle blend of youth and senior players as we look to advance to the fourth round of the competition, where we could face Arsenal in the next round.
Adrian should start in between the sticks for us in Lincolnshire today, with a defensive quartet of Neco Williams, Fabinho, Sepp van den Berg and Kostas Tsimikas, who will make his first-team debut since his £11.75m move last month.
Moving onto the midfield trio, I expect Thiago to make his first-team start after his impressive 45-minute cameo against Chelsea last weekend. James Milner and Curtis Jones should feature alongside him.
Another debut in the squad will be Diogo Jota, who wasn’t registered in time to play in the Premier League so should get his opportunity tonight. Takumi Minamino and Harvey Elliott will get plenty of opportunities in the Carabao Cup so will have the chance to illustrate their talent in this game.