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Liverpool Approach to League Cup Won’t Change Against Arsenal

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Assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders says Liverpool’s squad will be heavily changed for the cup—but still strong.

Liverpool Pre-Season Training Session Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

With the 2020-21 season compressed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the disruption caused to the end of the last campaign, Liverpool are right back into action in the League Cup fourth round against Arsenal a week after dispatching Lincoln City.

It’s also been just two days since the Reds dispatched Arsenal in league play, with both that game and tomorrow’s League Cup tie at Anfield, which makes for a rather strange situation—not that it will change Liverpool’s approach, according to Pepijn Lijnders.

“It is really important if you have only two days in between, with our style, freshness is key,” Liverpool’s assistant said at the pre-match press conference when asked if it would be a heavily changed side for Thursday despite the class of their opponents.

The players who made appearances late against the Gunners on Monday—new signing Diogo Jota, fellow attacker Takumi Minamino, and midfielder James Milner—will expect to start and star, as will some younger and more fringe first team players.

Such is the strength of this Liverpool side, though, that even a heavily changed side including some youth and fringe players will be expected to hold their own against almost any opposition, including whatever side Arsenal put out tomorrow night.

“We know if you are still fatigued it is much more difficult, so it will be a strong team, a combination of youth and experience,” Lijnders added. “One of our biggest strengths last season was the respect of each member of the squad for the job they do.

“If you’re starting or not starting, it’s a team, and this respect makes us strong. It is important to use all of these strengths, combinations and relationships again and we’re looking forward to it.”