Liverpool welcome Leeds United to Anfield in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, as an age-old rivalry plays out its latest act.
Liverpool vs. Leeds United
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 – 7:45pm (GMT)
Referee: Andre Marriner
A resurgent Leeds side travel to Merseyside attempting to cause an upset, with Garry Monk’s side in the Championship play-off positions currently.
While Liverpool will understandably be strong favourites to progress, they will not have it all their own way against a club with great history of their own.
The Reds and the Whites have had some memorable clashes down the years, from the hot-headed Charity Shield showdown in 1974 to Liverpool’s late show at Elland Road in the FA Cup fourth round in 2001.
Tuesday’s encounter could provide more drama in a classic British footballing matchup—a win for Liverpool puts them closer to a first piece of silverware in five years.
Leeds were relegated from the Premier League in 2004, with their last league showdown with Liverpool a 2-2 draw at Elland Road in February of that year. It was five years before the two teams met each other again.
That meeting came in the League Cup third round, with Rafa Benitez’s Reds sneaking a 1-0 victory at the home of their opponents.
The game’s only goal came via the right foot of much-maligned striker David N’Gog, with the Frenchman finishing clinically to send his side into the fourth round.
It is now over seven years later, but Liverpool supporters will hope for the same outcome.
We spoke to Leeds fan Rik Cridland (@RikCridland) to get his thoughts on Leeds’ season and their chances of springing a shock at Anfield.
Leeds currently sit 5th in the Championship table—this must be a joy after so many years of disappointment, right?
We are Leeds fans, we won’t be taking anything for granted! Yes, it’s very nice to be up there, but sadly the last 15 years has taught us to be wary.
Things change very quickly in football and particularly with an owner like Massimo Cellino. But yes, the team’s good to watch at the minute, so we’re enjoying ourselves.
Who do you see as Leeds’ key men going into the game?
It’s tricky to know what team Monk will go for, as he’s mixed it up in previous rounds, but I’d expect the big man Pontus Jansson to come back in. He and Kyle Bartley at centre-back have been awesome this season.
Also keep an eye out for Hadi Sakho, a winger with bags of pace and trickery. On his day, he is very exciting to watch and creates chances from nothing.
Switching our attention to Liverpool, how do you rate them this season? Any players you’re particularly fond or scared of?
It’s nice to see Liverpool doing well and playing some attractive football. I’ve heard people question whether you can defend, but given your propensity to score five or six goals at the other end, who cares?
Frankly, all your forward line are scary so we’re just hoping you lot have an off day.
If I have a favourite Liverpool player it’s going to be James Milner, isn’t it? Amazing to think that he was only 17 when we last played you guys at Anfield in 2003.
What’s your prediction for Tuesday’s game—a shock on the cards?
If it had been at Elland Road I’d have been more optimistic about us getting a result, but it’s going to be tough. We just have to hope you guys have an off game and we can rattle you a little.
If we can keep it tight and maybe even nick an early goal, who knows? I’m going for 1-1 and then penalties. Leeds to win.
In truth, the Brazilian was likely to be rested for the visit of Leeds anyway, but longer term, it could be damaging to Liverpool’s title aspirations.
Roberto Firmino is unlikely to feature either, having not trained on Monday.
The Reds’ starting lineup is expected to be much-changed on Tuesday, as was the case against Tottenham in the last 16, when Klopp made 11 alterations.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Leeds – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-1 vs. Rotherham
Lost 2-0 vs. Newcastle
Won 3-2 vs. Norwich
Won 2-0 vs. Burton
Drew 2-2 vs. Norwich (won 3-2 on penalties)
Klopp spoke about Origi’s lack of opportunities this season, saying it is something you have to deal with as a footballer:
“There’s no alternative to being patient. Moan everyday? Talk to me everyday?
“That’s the way it works. It wasn’t the most easy time for him, but it’s not that it’s the worst time in his life.
“The group is very respectful. It’s a good group, so how we handle the players—as long as they want and as long as they work—they can get all the help they want.
“It’s the same for Divock and a few other players. If you have a quality group it’s more difficult to go through the door.
“It’s not that serious or hard. It’s not nice, but it’s training, with good people around. That’s good and he’s in a good way again.”
One to Watch: Charlie Taylor
Back in August, Liverpool were loosely linked with a move for Charlie Taylor, but it never came to fruition.
The 23-year-old left-back is a talented young player, and at 6’1″ tall, he is not one to be daunted by a physical challenge either.
It will be worth keeping an eye on Taylor on Tuesday evening to see if he has the potential to be a future Reds player.
That is, of course, assuming he starts. You can never second-guess managers in the League Cup these days.
UK viewers: Liverpool vs. Leeds Utd is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK, which is available to live stream with a NOW TV day pass.
US viewers: Liverpool vs. Leeds Utd is being shown live on beIN Sports in the US, which is available to live stream with FuboTV.