2F00KGH Deepdale Stadium, Preston, Lancashire, UK. 6th Mar, 2021. English Football League Championship Football, Preston North End versus Bournemouth; Sepp van den Berg of Preston North End Credit: Action Plus Sports/Alamy Live News

Liverpool loanee cleared to play vs. Reds – “Of course he should!”

Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has confirmed that Sepp van den Berg is able to play against his parent club in Wednesday’s clash at loan side Preston.

Liverpool head to Deepdale this week for their League Cup fourth-round tie against North End, having overseen a 3-0 victory over Norwich in the previous round.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side are on a monstrous run of form that is yet to see them taste defeat this season, while a 5-0 win at Man United at the weekend served as the perfect boost ahead of a very different trip.

Preston are, undoubtedly, underdogs for Wednesday night, and will head into the game with morale having taking a hit due to their 2-0 defeat to Blackpool on Saturday.

Goals from Keshi Anderson and Gary Madine handed the Tangerines the three points at home, with Liverpool loanee Van den Berg playing the full 90 minutes for Preston.

“The two biggest games of the season are this game and the Blackpool home game,” Van den Berg told the Lancashire Post, “to get beat 2-0 is very frustrating.”

There could be an incentive, however, in repaying the fans in midweek, as the Dutchman added: “You just want to win those games for them. You want to win every derby game and then go over to them.”

It was under Neil Critchley that Van den Berg made his most recent Liverpool appearance, in the 1-0 win over Shrewsbury in the FA Cup in 2020, but this time the ex-Reds under-23s coach was in the dugout for Blackpool.

Preston sit 19th in the Championship after their derby defeat, having only won three of their 14 league games so far this season.

They sealed a 4-1 win over League One side Cheltenham in the third round of the League Cup, but face a much tougher test in Klopp’s Premier League title contenders.

Sepp van den Berg, Preston

It had been unclear whether Van den Berg would be permitted to play for Preston against his parent club, but Lijnders has effectively confirmed his involvement.

“Of course, he should play. It’s like if you want to be a chef, you need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen!” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“What would our message be if we sent our players on loan to get good games, then there’s a good game coming and not letting them play?

“We want to give young players opportunities, and for Sepp it’s an amazing game.

“I’m in contact with him, he looks forward to it – because that’s probably the most important thing.

“It’s exactly what he needed: young centre-half, who’s playing a different position, but fighting in the Championship.

“If you can come out of that league, you will be ready for a lot. We can’t wait to see him in pre-season next year.”