Liverpool travel to Lincoln for a third-round Carabao Cup tie. For Liverpool fans, we’re expecting the senior backup players to get a run out, and maybe we’ll see new signing Diego Jota make an appearance. What about our opponents, you ask?
Who Are They?
Lincoln City play in League One, the third-tier of the English League system and have the fantastic moniker of “The Imps”. The team got to the third round of the competition via a 5-0 mauling of Bradford City. They’ve achieved two promotions in four seasons, moving up from the National League where they were playing in 2016/2017. Let this be a warning: these guys aren’t the pump it and watch what happens side of the Stoke/Burnley variety that you may be expecting from lower-league opposition.
Lincoln City FC was formed in 1884, as an amateur football association, in the wake of the disbanding of Lincoln Rovers. They turned professional in 1891-92. Liverpool and Lincoln have played a total of 23 times, with Liverpool leading the scoreboard with thirteen wins against our opponent’s five. Our last meeting took place in the Second Division in 1961, with Bill Shankly’s side emerging victorious with a 2-0 result. This game will be the first time the sides are meeting in the League Cup.
Where Are We Going?
LNER Stadium will be where the game takes place. It’s more commonly referred to as Sincil Bank, and has played home to the team since 1895, with the team having played a stone’s throw away at John O’Gaunts since their inception. The ground holds 10,120 fans, not that it’ll matter for now.
Michael Appleton is a former Manchester United youth product. The midfielder retired from professional football in 2003 as a result of a serious knee injury. He played most of his football at the Championship level, with spells at Preston North End and West Brom. He immediately turned to coaching, starting with our beloved Baggies, eventually becoming a youth team coach. He was quite sensationally instated as caretaker manager following the sacking of Roberto di Matteo in 2011, and earned a point from a 3-3 draw against West Ham, in which his team lost a 3-0 lead.
He has also had stints in charge of Portsmouth, Blackpool, Blackburn and Oxford. You may faintly recall him from his time at Leicester as Craig Shakespeare’s assistant, where he had another brief spell as caretaker manager, leading the Foxes winning both matches. His best work has been done at Oxford, where he led his side to automatic promotion to League One, as well as a place in the final of the EFL Trophy. He is currently in his second season at Lincoln City, finishing 16th in the null-and-void campaign of last season.
The Danger Men
The Imps have ambition and certainly showed it over the summer, with a host of signings to bolster their push for Championship football. Two signings made were from MK Dons: midfielder Conor McGrandles and defender Joe Walsh, who both featured against Liverpool last season for MK Dons in the third-round League Cup tie last season. McGrandles will bear a heavy responsibility for the Imps, as he’ll be in charge of unlocking the Liverpool defence from the attacking midfielder spot. Striker Callum Morton, on loan from West Brom, will line up at striker.