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Takumi Minamino’s golden opportunity to join Rush and Dalglish with 4 in a row

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Takumi Minamino has a chance to join an elusive list including Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish with a goal tonight, in what would be his fifth in the competition this season.

This will be the first occasion in League Cup history that Liverpool have faced the same club in three successive seasons and only the fourth time in any competition.

The last two clashes in this competition have been decided by a penalty shoot-out, but Liverpool have won each of the last six Anfield league meetings.

 

Minamino Magic

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Takumi Minamino scored his first Liverpool goal against Arsenal in the Community Shield in August 2020. He has scored six goals in his five League Cup games for the Reds.

And if he scores tonight he will become only the fifth player to score in four successive Liverpool games in the competition following Kenny Dalglish in 1980, Ian Rush (1982), Steve McMahon (1986) and Vladimir Smicer in 2000/01.

 

League Cup Unpredictability

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In 21 League Cup games under Jurgen Klopp, 78 different players have been used, the last being Billy Koumetio in the win against Leicester in the last round.

And Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino are the only Reds to have started all three League Cup games this season.

 

Interesting facts…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 9, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have lost two of their last 39 games in all competitions – at West Ham in November and at Leicester last month.

One-third of Fabinho’s career goals for Liverpool so far (2) came in last Sunday’s win over Shrewsbury in the FA Cup, including his first penalty scored for the club in normal time.

 

Rocky on the Road

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp is shown a yellow card during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Eddie Nketiah has seven goals in eight League Cup appearances for the Gunners and all five of his goals this season have come in this competition (in the last three rounds).

Arsenal have won five of their 12 away games in all competitions this season, losing six.

They were knocked out of the FA Cup at Championship side Nottingham Forest last Sunday. The 1-0 defeat saw them fail to score for the first time since they lost 4-0 at Anfield in November.

 

Lucky charm Oliver?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 9, 2019: referee Michael Oliver sends his assistant off the field for a replacement battery delaying the start of the second half during the opening FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Michael Oliver has refereed a game between the teams six times previously – Liverpool have never lost thanks to a record of four wins and two draws.

He was in charge of the Anfield meeting in November – Liverpool won 4-0. Today he takes charge of a Liverpool game for the 50th time.

 

This Season’s Scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 9, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool: Salah 23, Jota 12, Mane 10, Firmino 7, Origi 5, Minamino 5, Fabinho 3, Henderson 3, Keita 3, Thiago 2, Alexander-Arnold 2, Oxlade-Chamberlain 1, Jones 1, Robertson 1, Van Dijk 1, Gordon 1, own goals 1

Arsenal: Smith Rowe 9, Aubameyang 7, Saka 7, Lacazette 5, Nketiah 5, Martinelli 4, Odegaard 4, Gabriel 2, Pepe 2, Chambers 1, Partey 1, Patino 1, Tierney 1


* Stats courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).

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