Following the hard fought victory at Spurs, Liverpool now switch attentions to the League Cup. The Reds, holders of this competition having defeated Chelsea on penalties back in February, begin their defence at home to Derby tomorrow night. Here’s a preview of the game.

Last season’s competition was a truly wholesome one for the club. It was an all round effort from top to bottom, as several Academy youngsters played their part before the senior colleagues took on the baton in the latter stages.

The iconic moment of Caomhin Kelleher stepping up to take Liverpool’s last penalty in the shootout will stay with fans for a lifetime. That moment sums up the feeling around the competition. It was a true coming of age story for the young goalkeeper.

He wasn’t the only one either as Neco Williams also played his part (even playing on the right wing at times). As did Kaide Gordon who don’t forget started away at Arsenal in the second leg of the semi final. Not to mention the contributions of youngsters Bradley, Koumetio, Beck, Morton, Dixon-Bonner and Blair.

We can’t speak of the League Cup success without mentioning the duo of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, who between them scored 60% of the Reds’ goals in the entire competition. Everyone played their part last season, and tomorrow is a chance for new heroes to step up to the plate.

Victory at Wembley saw the Reds lift an eighth League Cup trophy. Nobody in the history of the competition has managed more. The journey to a potential record ninth title commences at Anfield tomorrow night (8pm GMT kickoff).

With the Reds struggling with injuries this season, we can expect a similar team selection to what we saw in the third round last season at Norwich. A host of youngsters will be handed their chance, with a sprinkling of senior fringe talent.

Pep Ljinders took the pre-match media duties earlier today and radiated excitement for the challenge ahead. The Dutchman absolutely loves the chance to blood through youngsters and will no doubt transmit his positivity through to them.

Opponents Derby will be looking forward to this tie as well. The Rams have endured a torrid time of things in recent times. They suffered relegation from the Championship last season, mainly due to a whopping 21 point deduction as punishment for financial breaches.

Wayne Rooney did an admirable job trying to keep the club afloat amidst all the uncertainty. The Scouser quit back in July, with Liam Rosenior being put in charge on an interim basis. He was subsequently relieved of his duties in September, before Paul Warne was appointed.

He’s overseen seven League One fixtures thus far, chalking three victories and succumbing to two defeats to leave the Rams seventh on the table. This fixture is a free hit for Derby and they will approach it with that freedom. This makes them dangerous opponents.

It should still be a fun night for the Academy youngsters involved. They will play infront of a full Anfield crowd and will have an opportunity to showcase what they are about. Other fringe players will also want to send a message to the manager.

Team News

James Milner has been ruled out of the fixture as he continues to observe concussion protocol. The veteran is expected to be available for Southampton at the weekend however. Naby Keita and Joel Matip are also out but could come into contention for the weekend.

Arthur Melo, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz remain long term absentees, with the latter closest to a return. The Colombian is slated to begin running sessions on Thursday, for the first time since his injury. He should be fit in time for the training camp slated for Dubai next month.



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