There were several changes to Liverpool’s under 21 side last night against Manchester City from their 5-2 victory over Sunderland last week.
Last week there was a vast array of talent on display that are on the fringe of the Liverpool first team, and could be part of Brendan Rodgers’ first team plans sooner rather than later.
In that side Raheem Sterling, Jordon Ibe, Martin Kelly, John Flanagan and Luis Alberto all played a part in the win – along with new signing Tiago Ilori.
Maybe tomorrow night’s League Cup clash could see one or two of these players feature again - but this time for the first team ?
Shortly after the Sunderland game, Ilori was quoted as saying he would like to get as many minutes under his belt as possible, implying that if that was in the under-21’s then the £7m signing from Sporting Lisbon would be happy to play his part there.
He told the Liverpool Echo last week: 'I want to get as many minutes as I can. I didn’t have a proper pre-season due to injuring my hand but it’s good to be back fit now'.
This comment makes his absence from the last night’s under 21 victory over Manchester City particularly striking. Could there be a baptism of fire debut against Manchester United for the London born centre-back ? Or is it just case of Brendan Rodgers trying to protect as many potential first team players as possible, with Daniel Agger a doubt ahead of tomorrow’s clash ?
Alberto, of course, saw some first team action towards the end of the league game against Manchester United at the start of the month, and featured late on in the Reds’ 1-0 defeat to Southampton at the weekend.
If Liverpool’s tie with Notts County from the second round is anything to go by, there are going to be plenty of first team players on show, but there may also be one or two rested players. Both Ibe and Sterling started on the wings in that game, with Alberto in the middle – but visiting Old Trafford is a bigger task than hosting Notts County.
Brendan Rodgers’ team selection will be very interesting indeed, and that’s without mentioning the returning Luis Suarez.
image: © bernard-chan