10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Leicester – Can

The Reds are gearing up for their first domestic cup game of the season as Liverpool prepare to face Leicester in the League Cup – but can they finally win in 90 minutes at Anfield?

Liverpool vs. Leicester City

League Cup (Third Round) | Anfield
September 27, 2023 | 7.45pm (BST)


When they were relegated last season, Liverpool thought they would have a Leicester-free year this season.

Alas, the Reds have drawn the Foxes at the first time of asking in the League Cup. It does present a good opportunity for progression against the Championship side, though.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Leicester.

 

1. “Too soon” for Trent

Trent Alexander-Arnold has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury and the visit of Leicester has come “too soon,” assistant manager Pep Lijnders confirmed.

The right-back, thankfully, was back in parts of training on Monday with his teammates, but Saturday’s trip to Tottenham is the match that is expected to herald his return.

Thiago, meanwhile, is in “a good way” but he has yet to make a full training return as his individual rehabilitation continues following hip surgery at the back-end of last season.

There were no other injuries to report, but Lijnders did confirm that “changes” will be made to the lineup.

 

2. Straight to penalties, if needed

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 24, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the opening goal past West Ham United's goalkeeper Alphonse Areola from the penalty spot during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With no extra time until the semi-final stage, every League Cup match that is level after the final whistle will go directly to a penalty shootout.

The Reds have won their last four penalty shootouts, and that includes one against the Foxes back in 2021 – Jurgen Klopp‘s men won both domestic cups from the spot in 2021/22.

Not sure our nerves should be put to the test this early, though!

 

3. How many changes?

You sense Liverpool’s lineup could be a predictable one when we consider how Klopp rotated for the first Europa League clash, with a not too dissimilar XI likely.

From Sunday’s league match, 11 changes would not come as a surprise as Lijnders stated on the eve of the clash that “we need to make changes, it’s a given in a period like this.”

Stefan Bajcetic is in line for another berth at right-back, though this not where his future lies, while Ben Doak is set to get another opportunity, this time alongside Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo.

Predicted Reds XI: Kelleher; Bajcetic, Konate, Quansah, Tsimikas; Endo, Elliott, Gravenberch; Doak, Jota, Gakpo

 

4. Man City chase the record

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk lifts the trophy as his side celebrate winning the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Throughout its various iterations, Liverpool have enjoyed the League Cup; the Reds have won the competition nine times – more than anyone else.

Man City are now close behind, though, with five successes in six attempts between 2016 and 2021 taking their overall tally to eight.

This season, Virgil van Dijk will be hoping to lift the trophy for a second time and extend the club record. Should he do it, it would be his first trophy – hopefully, of many – as Liverpool captain.

 

5. Life in the Championship

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 1, 2019: Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Everton FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Italian manager Enzo Maresca took over from Dean Smith in the summer and has won nine of his first 10 games at Leicester.

The Foxes are expected to come straight back up to the top flight, but the Championship is notoriously unpredictable. They are, though, currently top of the table and Jamie Vardy is still scoring goals – three in nine so far this season.

The last round also saw them travel to Merseyside, beating Tranmere 2-0 after knocking Burton Albion out by the same scoreline in the first round.

Possible Leicester XI: Stolarczyk; Pereira, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Casadei, Ndidi, Winks; Akgun, Iheanacho, Mavididi

 

6. No VAR

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 16, 2022: Referee Anthony Taylor indicates a VAR review during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There will be no VAR for this one.

Tim Robinson takes charge of a Liverpool game for the first time as referee, having acted as fourth official on two previous occasions for the Reds.

The official was promoted to the PGMOL’s Select Group One in the summer and has refereed two Premier League matches so far this season.

Simon Bennett and Daniel Robathan are the assistant referees, while David Webb takes the fourth official role.

 

7. Not televised in the UK

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 28, 2022: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop before the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg game between Liverpool FC and Villarreal CF at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The match isn’t on UK television, with Sky Sports’ Wednesday pick being Newcastle vs. Man City.

Thankfully, you can still keep up to date with everything that’s going on with This Is Anfield.

Adam Beattie will be running the matchday live blof and there will be the usual build-up and reaction to events at Anfield.

 

8. Last time we met Leicester…

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, May 15, 2023: Liverpool's goal-scorers Trent Alexander-Arnold (C) and Curtis Jones (R) celebrate after the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool didn’t enjoy a succesful season last time around, but they still did the double over Leicester.

Most recently, they beat Dean Smith’s Foxes 3-0 at the King Power Stadium in May. It was a game that will mainly be remembered as a demonstration of Scouse power.

Curtis Jones put Liverpool two ahead in the first half before a stunning free-kick, from Trent Alexander-Arnold, sealed the game with 20 minutes left to play.

That match was part of the 18-game unbeaten run Liverpool are currently on.

 

9. A surprising statistic

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, November 29, 2016: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn scores the second goal against Leeds United, to become the club's youngest ever goal-scorer, during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have not won a League Cup tie in normal time at Anfield in the last seven matches – a crazy statistic given the Reds won the competition in 2022.

That last time was against Leeds in 2016, when Ben Woodburn became the club’s youngest-ever goalscorer.

On the bright side, Liverpool have failed to score in only two of the last 29 home encounters in all competitions against Leicester.

Vardy could be the opposition’s danger man. He has a good record against Liverpool, scoring 10 goals in his 17 appearances against the Reds in all competitions.

 

10. Follow the match with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 26, 2018: The Football League Cup trophy, with Carabao branding, on display before the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Leicester is not live on television in the UK, but you can stay up to date This Is Anfield and check in with our worldwide TV guide prior to kick-off.

TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 7pm, with Adam Beattie tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.

The match kicks off at 7.45pm (BST).

Come on you Reds!

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