Most of the better clubs in the Premier League use the Carling Cup as an opportunity to get some of their younger players some valuable first team experience. Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish has fielded stronger teams than most in the competition**, but a scheduling snafu may cause all of that to change against Chelsea. The tie was originally scheduled for Wednesday the 30th, but with the TUC rally going on in London that day the fixture was moved to the 29th. This comes on the heels of Liverpool's Sunday clash with Manchester City, a contest which will likely be fairly important for both clubs. Needless to say, Dalglish is upset:
It is disgraceful in this day and age that players are being asked to play a key Premier League game and then a League Cup quarter-final in London just 48 hours later
If the Football League want to devalue their own competition, that's up to them, but they shouldn't then be upset if people use these games to help in the development of young players. The one thing I will say to our fans is to think carefully before buying tickets for the League Cup game because we do not want them spending their money and then we decide there is no other option but to use only young players in the tie.
It's understandable with the Spurs v PAOK Salonika match and the TUC rally that the Met Police have said that our game cannot be played on the Wednesday. But it's surely the duty of the football authorities to think of other solutions which consider the welfare of the players and this clearly hasn't happened
He's obviously pretty upset about the scheduling, and rightly so. There really is no excuse for a supposedly "meaningful" game to be scheduled on the heels of such an important Premier League tie. I'd fully expect AVB to field a very similar squad to the ones he's run out thus far in the competition, and it now appears they won't be facing a first choice squad from Liverpool either. Frankly, it would be nice in my eyes if the competition just went away entirely. If it's not important enough to warrant TV coverage in this day and age, I can't really see why anybody still thinks it's important enough to clog up an already crowded fixture list anyway.
**He did start Andy Carroll in the last game though...