Liverpool vs Leicester
| Wednesday, September 27th |
Carabao Cup | Anfield
7:45PM BST / 2:45PM EST
Liverpool will be loath to have a break from what has been a tremendous start to their league campaign, but will nonetheless look to go as far as possible in the Carabao Cup, as they host newly relegated Leicester City at Anfield on Wednesday.
As should be expected, but is not always the case, Leicester have displayed their talent advantage following last season’s demotion from the Premier League, winning seven and losing one to start their life in the Championship, and currently sit top of the table in England’s second tier competition.
There will be plenty of familiar faces at Anfield tomorrow, with former Reds Danny Ward and Conor Coady both under contract with the Foxes, and the squad still features plenty of players with Premier League talent and experiences, as the club avoided any major clearout over the summer, although it is local talent and loan returnee Kasey McAteer who is the leading scorer so far this season.
For the omen-enthusiasts out there, the Reds have faced Leicester three times in the League Cup, and on both occasions when they were victorious, they went on to win the trophy, most recently in 2022.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Kelleher; Gomez, Matip, Quansah, Tsimikas; Endō, Gravenberch, Elliott; Gakpo, Jota, Doak
Although it is reasonable to expect major squad rotation in the domestic cups, Liverpool’s depth of talent and current squad health means that we’re unlikely to see many debuting 17-year olds or squad numbers in the upper 80s for once.
At the back, Trent alexander-Arnold will continue his rehabilitation in hopes that he will be ready for Tottenham at the weekend, and as such, another start — along with potential captaincy — for Joe Gomez at right-back seems likely. Kostas Tsimikas — fresh off a contract extension — will man the other side, with Joel Matip and Jarrell Quansah the probable pairing in the centre.
Thiago has yet to return to full team training and misses out, while Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch look set to pair up in midfield, alongside Harvey Elliott’s attacking presence, giving Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai a chance to rest up. Stefan Bajcetic is also in the running to start.
Up top, Diogo Jota should get his second start in a month, as should Cody Gakpo, while Ben Doak will stretch the pitch on the right-side, looking to feed his strike partners in the middle.
What the Managers Said
Pep Lijnders: “All the boys in our squad need to play. I really feel and Jota said it to me, the best thing when we went for the four trophies was that we stayed in the League Cup in the end because all the players had constant game time. They stay hungry because they know there is a next game they will play.”
Enzo Maresca: “They have some new players but in terms of transition and work off the ball, they have probably been the best team in the world for the last seven years. So now, even if they have new players, they just need time to adapt and then they will go again. Anfield will be a good environment for us.“
Referee: Who knows?
Assistant referees: The EFL play their cards
Fourth official: close to the vest
VAR: Probably somebody bad though
Kickoff is set for 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM 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.