Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Preston secured their place in the final eight of the League Cup for the fourth time under Jurgen Klopp, meaning the festive period just got busier.
With 11 changes at Deepdale, it was never going to be the free-flowing football that Liverpool have readily supplied in the early stages of the season.
The Reds were made to work for it but second-half goals from Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi would be enough for a win and a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.
The possible opponents in the next round are Arsenal, Chelsea, Brentford, Leicester, West Ham, Tottenham and Sunderland, the latter of whom are the only non-Premier League side remaining.
While the draw is on Saturday, the quarter-final tie will not take place until the week commencing December 20, adding another fixture to an already packed schedule.
In December, Jurgen Klopp‘s side will now contest nine games in the space of 27 days across three different competitions.
With Liverpool travelling to Tottenham on December 19, the expectation will be that the Reds’ League Cup tie will be scheduled for Wednesday, December 22, four days before Anfield’s Boxing Day clash with Leeds.
Liverpool’s Festive Fixture List
- Everton (A) – December 1, 8.15pm
- Wolves (A) – December 4, 3pm
- AC Milan (A) – December 7, 8pm
- Aston Villa (H) – December 11, 3pm
- Newcastle (H) – December 16, 8pm
- Tottenham (A) – December 19, 4.30pm
- League Cup Quarter-final – December 21/22
- Leeds (H) – December 26, 12.30pm
- Leicester (A) – December 28, 8pm
With meetings with Everton, AC Milan and Leicester also on the billing, Klopp will need to utilise his squad during the December period with an average gap between games of three days.
Liverpool typically thrives with such a schedule but with drop offs in years gone by after the festive period, managing this run of games will hold the key heading into 2022.
And should the Reds emerge from their League Cup quarter-final, they will not have to wait long for the semi-final doubleheader which is scheduled for the week commencing January 3 and January 10.
Liverpool will, of course, be without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita should they make it that far due to their Africa Cup of Nations involvement, in addition to the FA Cup third round.
All in all, from Brighton on Saturday until Leicester on December 28, Liverpool will contest 15 more games in 2021.