While most of us are focused on Thursday’s Champions League Draw, there is another draw tonight, one which could impact the way Liverpool navigate the fixture congestion between now and January: the League Cup.
Now, if the Champions League represents either 1a or 1b as our most or second most important competition, the League Cup...does not. Of our 7 (SEVEN!) competitions (margin of error: plus or minus the Community Shield), the League Cup is probably a solid number 6 in importance.
In both prestige and format, it’s not a very appealing competition. The £100,000 in prize money for winning the competition does little to offset the two-legged semifinal played in January on exhausted legs.
Regardless, we apparently have to play in it (even if our season was much better last year after binning off both League and FA Cups).
The draw, set for tonight after the conclusion of the League Cup second round with Lincoln City-Everton, will determine Liverpool’s midweek opponent between Chelsea away and Sheffield United away in the league in late September.
The fixture will take place as the league and Champions League action are really ramping up. The first Champions League group stage match will take place the week before the third round of the League Cup, and the second matchday will take place the week thereafter.
Last year, Liverpool received two nasty cup draws in Chelsea and Wolverhampton in League and FA Cups, respectively. However, they might have been blessings in disguise, allowing us to focus on better and more important things. You know, like becoming Champions of Europe and getting 97 points in the league.
That said, if the Reds get some the same luck that Manchester City got in all of their draws, it might be a nice way to pick up some additional silverware on our journey.