Liverpool vs Derby
| Wednesday, November 9th |
Carabao Cup | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
Liverpool return to the Carabao Cup, a competition in which they haven’t lost since October 2020 — an Anfield penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal in which Harry Wilson missed the decisive penalty, good luck remembering that one — and they do so at home, getting a visit from League One promotion hopefuls Derby County, a team they have only faced once in the past 15 years, a famous win in the glory days of Dancing with the Stars sensation Ragnar Klavan.
The Rams were relegated after a 21-point deduction due to financial breaches saw them finish in 23rd place under Wayne Rooney’s stewardship. The drop has not gone smoothly either, with goals hard to come by, and tomorrow’s visitors and League One’s seventh placed team have only won one of their last five games in all competitions.
Paul Warne’s side have had some injury troubles this season and were unable to name a full bench for the Rams’ FA Cup clash at the weekend, so while top scorer David McGoldrick and Conor Hourihane are pushing for a return to the XI, Curtis Davies, James Chester and Tom Barkhiuzen are all set to miss out through injury.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Kelleher; Ramsay, Gomez,Phillips, Chambers; Bajcetic, Jones, Elliott; Carvalho, Firmino, Doak
For the Reds, expect major changes, starting in goal, where Caoimhin Kelleher, who you’ll recall scored the winning penalty in last year’s final, will continue as Liverpool’s domestic cup keeper.
Beyond that, it’s all guesswork, with Pep Lijnders confirming the lineup will be based on ‘‘freshness and talent’, but a first Liverpool start for Calvin Ramsay seems nailed one. Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips might make up the centre-back pairing, while the left-back spot is likely to be manned by either Kostas Tsimikas or 18-year old Luke Chambers.
In midfield, Stefan Bajcetic is likely to start, while James Milner and Naby Keïta will be unable to return in time, meaning Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott could both start, although a young talent like Melkamu Frauendorf might be preferred in place of the latter.
Fabio Carvalho looks set to be named in the front line, but with only three healthy senior attackers available, it is uncertain whether the like of Roberto Firmino, Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah will be involved at all, or if Jürgen Klopp goes with somebody like the extremely impressive Ben Doak up top.
What the Managers Said
Pep Lijnders: “It’s good to say now that everybody who knows us now over the last years knows how we deal with this competition. The reason why we change is always that we want freshness and we want talent and we believe that to win the game tomorrow, we always want to put a team out who has to prove, who wants to show, who wants to bring us further in this cup.”
Paul Warne: “We need to put a good performance on. There’s loads of people traveling, it’s a good game for the lads to play in, an occasion as such, but it’s only an occasion if you perform, there’s no occasion if you go and get a good cracking.“
Referee: Tony Harrington
Assistant referees: Marc Perry, Shaun Hudson
Fourth official: David Webb
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.