Liverpool begin their defence of the League Cup with a third round tie against Derby at Anfield on Wednesday, returning to matters on the pitch after a chaotic few days of reports relating to the club’s ownership.
Liverpool vs. Derby
League Cup third round | Anfield
November 9, 2022 | 8pm (GMT)
This, of course, is the Reds’ penultimate match prior to the mid-season break for the World Cup, before Jurgen Klopp‘s side round off the first part of their campaign with a home clash with Southampton this Saturday.
The build-up to this game has been largely overshadowed by reports claiming that FSG have put the club up for sale, leading to many questions regarding Liverpool’s future both in the short and long-term.
However, Klopp’s immediate priority will be securing two victories this week, before his side reconvene towards the end of the year.
Here’s 10 key things to know before the Reds’ League Cup meeting with Derby.
1. First game with Liverpool ‘for sale’?
Monday was a busy one, wasn’t it?
The Champions League last 16 draw saw the Reds matched up with Real Madrid, but somehow that wasn’t the biggest news of the day.
Early in the afternoon, news emerged that Liverpool were being ‘put up for sale’, with The Athletic’s David Ornstein reporting that FSG were inviting offers for the club.
As you’d expect, discussion around the club’s ownership situation has since gone into overdrive, with varying reports as to whether a full sale could really be on the cards any time soon.
No Liverpool games for a while, but it could be a very interesting end to 2022 for LFC.
2. What did Lijnders have to say about the news?
As is always the case for League Cup matches, Pep Lijnders was on pre-match media duties for Liverpool on Tuesday.
“First of all, everybody who knows us in the last years, everybody who realised who we are as a club, realised we have a strong relationship with the owners.
“We knew before, of course. We knew about the statement, nothing more than you guys knew.
“What I would like to say is I always know the owners act in the best interest of the club and they always did. I believe they always tried, at least.
“This relationship was very important for us.
“I think the statement was very clear.
“How did it distract us? To be honest, this is what I like about our club, we are so focused.
“There was a small discussion, a little bit of talk between Jurgen and me, but from that moment on we start focusing.”
3. Reds looking to retain League Cup
And so Liverpool’s defence of the League Cup begins.
The Reds’ success in this competition last year was a highlight of their season, as Klopp’s side went on to lift the trophy for the first time in 10 years.
They did it by using the whole squad, and that approach will be adopted again this year, with a number of fringe players to be handed opportunities once again.
Due to the World Cup, the structure of this season’s competition is slightly different to normal. The third round ties are all being played this week, with the draw for the fourth round taking place on Thursday evening.
Should Liverpool see off Derby, their fourth round fixture will be their first match following the World Cup, with those games scheduled to take place the week commencing December 19.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals all take place in January, before the final on Sunday, February 26, 2023.
4. Expect wholesale changes
Having played 11 games in the last five weeks, this was always going to be the game Liverpool used as an opportunity to rotate, ahead of another crucial Premier League encounter this weekend.
There’s every chance Klopp will change the entire XI for this game, but even so, his side should have more than enough to see off League One Derby.
5. Milner still out, but good news on Diaz
Luis Diaz won’t be involved, of course, but Liverpool’s assistant boss did say that the Colombian is now running again and should be ready to take part in the Reds’ Dubai training camp during the World Cup.
6. Youngsters involved
A number of Liverpool’s most promising youngsters have been involved with the first team for the majority of this season, as a result of the club’s persistent injury problems.
There was an interesting line from Lijnders on Tuesday suggesting that a young scouser could be involved in the game. The lineup certainly promises to be an intriguing one!
Possible Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Ramsay, Phillips, Gomez, Tsimikas; Bajcetic, Jones, Carvalho; Elliott, Clark, Oxlade-Chamberlain
7. What to expect from Derby?
Having been relegated to League One after a 21-point deduction in last season’s Championship, Derby are currently seventh in the league table, having picked up 25 points from their opening 16 matches.
Wayne Rooney stepped down as manager in June, before Liam Rosenior stepped in as interim boss, but late in September, Paul Warne took the role on a permanent basis after leaving Rotherham United.
Their form since then have been mixed, with their most recent result a 2-2 FA Cup draw with National League side Torquay United.
Among the players in their squad that you will probably recognise are Conor Hourihane, James Chester, David McGoldrick and Curtis Davies, while their top scorer this season is Republic of Ireland striker James Collins.
8. Did you know?
80 different players have been used in 24 League Cup games under Klopp.
Liverpool last lost in this round of the competition in 2018 – beaten 2-1 at home by Chelsea.
Klopp’s side are aiming to register three successive victories for the only the second time this season.
9. Harrington in charge
The referee at Anfield on Wednesday will be Tony Harrington, whose only previous game in charge of the Reds was their 7-2 League victory over Lincoln City in 2020.
Harrington is yet to issue a red card in any of the matches he’s overseen in 2022/23.
10. Match not televised in the UK
If you’re not going to be there, follow the game with our live match blog from 7.15pm, with Henry Jackson guiding you through the action at Anfield.
Up the Reds!