Jurgen Klopp is not a big fan of the domestic Cup competitions as we have seen him fielding experimental lineups over the years. His Liverpool side are set to begin their EFL Cup run on Tuesday night against Norwich City at Carrow Road and the gaffer is likely to rest the first-team stars once again ahead of the weekend’s Premier League trip to Brentford.
The Canaries have already locked horns with the Merseysiders in the opening gameweek of the 2021-22 campaign. Liverpool claimed a thumping 3-0 victory on the road and the hosts, having lost all five league games so far, must aim for revenge to uplift the spirit before travelling to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.
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Young prodigy Caoimhin Kelleher emerged as the ‘number two’ last season during the absence of Alisson Becker. In spite of having veteran Adrian in the ranks, Klopp is likely to rely on the 22-year-old Irishman who deserves some first-team football.
Nat Phillips is waiting for opportunities following his heroics earlier this year. The Englishman should get the nod in the heart of the backline, whereas Joe Gomez is expected to feature alongside his fellow countryman. Kostas Tsimikas has been impressive so far as the understudy to Andrew Robertson and the Greek left-back must retain his place allowing the Scotsman to have a few more days rest prior to the Brentford game. However, an illness ruled Trent Alexander-Arnold out for the Crystal Palace contest. Neco Williams is sidelined with fitness concerns and the manager must not risk 35-year-old James Milner following a gruelling Saturday afternoon encounter versus the Eagles. Although Gomez is capable of shifting as a right fullback, the fans would rather love to see promising academy starlet Conor Bradley making his senior debut in Norfolk.
With Thiago and Harvey Elliott out already with their respective injury woes, the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho must not be overutilized in less significant fixtures. While the system demands a ‘number six’, the flexibility of Curtis Jones should be put to use at the base allowing Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to have free roles in the middle of the park.
Takumi Minamino has not been involved in these early weeks and the Japanese would look to make his presence known high up the pitch. Divock Origi is tipped to lead the line after impressing against AC Milan, also Diogo Jota should feature from the wide having fired in versus Daniel Farke’s men in gameweek 1. This might be a huge moment for 16-year-old Kaide Gordon who was left out by Liverpool U23 potentially for this League Cup tie. The former Derby County attacker is also in contention for his senior debut and might get introduced at some stage if not from the start.
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