The League Cup is set to kick off for Chelsea against Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow in a rather massive rivalry match-up, though given how both sides are in a dogfight for the top of the Premier League — with a direct battle set to take place over the coming weekend as well — some rotation from the usual starting elevens is the least we can expect.
From Liverpool’s perspective, manager Jürgen Klopp confirmed that at least one position will see a new name, with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet taking the place of summer signing Alisson.
“The only position I will confirm today is Simon [Mignolet]. Simon will start. All the rest, you have to wait until tomorrow. But it will be a good team, believe me!”
Liverpool’s depth in quality means that even with rotation, they will be able to field a strong lineup.
Defender Virgil van Dijk, who has been a integral part of the team since his (long delayed) arrival from Southampton last winter, suffered a rib injury over the weekend — playing against Southampton, ironically. While it’s not a serious problem, Klopp is likely to take the cautious approach and restore Dejan Lovren, recently recovered from an injury of his own, into the starting lineup.
“[Van Dijk] is much better. It’s still a bit painful, and nothing else. We will see how we deal with that. It’s how we thought already, not too serious, but it’s not nothing. It needs to settle. I will speak to him today and see how he is, then make a decision about him.”
“Dejan looks actually quite good. Trained completely normal now, four times. He looks ready.”
On the attacking side of the ball, Liverpool may be without rotational options in Divock Origi and Adam Lallana...
“Divock [Origi] is not far away but it’s an ankle thing, and we will be very careful. The ankle was his problem after the Everton game years ago, so he will be back, I’m pretty sure next week or so.”
“Adam [Lallana] trained with the team, not the full session, but will now come back step-by-step. He’s in a good way.”
..however, they will have former Chelsea Academy striker Dominic Solanke ready to take charge if the call comes.
“Dom is completely back.”
-Jürgen Klopp; source: London Evening Standard
Much like Chelsea, Liverpool also have several players who are itching for some match action, including big names like Fabinho and Naby Keita, so we can certainly expect to see a strong team greet Chelsea on Wednesday night at Anfield.