Any Liverpool fan can be forgiven, for forgetting, they have another match before this weekends clash, against arch rival Manchester United.
Notts County are Liverpool’s hosts this evening, in the Capital One Cup second round tie. A trophy which Liverpool won two years ago under the Great King Kenny.
In theory, Liverpool shouldn’t have too much against the League One club, but it is not as simple as just turning up on the day and playing a game of football. For the Notts County players, it is ultimately the biggest game most of them are likely to ever play in, which normally results in the lower league sides raising their game, which can make it harder for the Premier League side.
A trip to Anfield will get any footballer’s blood pumping. Notts County will probably start like a team possessed. They will chase every ball, dive into every tackle and kick everything that moves.
They will be burning with the desire to cause one of the biggest upsets in Football history. Liverpool cannot allow that. The players need to be able to match Notts County in the ‘desire to win’ department if they do that, then the extra quality should see the Reds through this game.
Liverpool are expected to make wholesale changes for tonight’s game, and with Manchester United only a matter of days away, who can blame Brendon Rodgers, for doing exactly that? On the flip side, it will also be a chance for many of Liverpool’s youngsters and fringe players to show the manager, what they are capable of doing.
Possible Starting XI
Mignolet, Kelly, Wisdom, Toure, Cissokho, Allen, Lucas, Luis Alberto, Sterling, Aspas, Borini.
Mignolet has been playing well in the Liverpool shirt and I would like him to get as many clean sheets behind his name as possible. Joe Allen will anchor the midfield. I was very impressed with Allen’s pre-season performance and every time I’ve seen him come on, he has looked good. This will be a chance for him to remind Brendan Rodgers why he paid £15m to sign him last summer.
This is also a great opportunity for Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas to introduce themselves to the Reds fans properly. A weaker team should be exactly what is needed to get their confidence up and to get that rush of hitting the back of the net.
Cissokho looked a little over eager against Aston Villa and made a few elementary mistakes, but that is forgivable. A good run out for him against Nott’s County should give his confidence a world of good. The same can be said about Borini. Rodgers has a lot of faith in the young Italian and if he sees potential in him, he must play him as often as possible in order to get that diamond out of the coal.
Although he may not necessarily start, Jordan Ibe is expected to feature at some point. He is skilful and physically strong. Potentially, a real star for Liverpool’s future so as much game time as possible, will only be good for the youngster.
The game will be shown live on Sky Sports, with kick off at 19:45. How do you think the game will pan out? Can Notts County cause an upset, or will Liverpool make it three wins out of three for the new season? Please leave you comments below.
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image: © 36-degrees