Liverpool will hope to keep their winning streak going on as they travel to LNER Stadium to lock horns against Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup.

After starting their Premier League defence in near perfect fashion, Liverpool make their debut in this season’s Carabao Cup with a trip to LNER Stadium to face Lincoln City FC.

Before the advent of the 2020/21 Premier League, Liverpool were given a headstart for silverware when they faced Arsenal in the Community Shield. It was not to be for them, however, as a 1-1 draw after normal time turned into a loss on penalties as Rhian Brewster skied his spot-kick.

Liverpool will be hoping to cut their past losses in the Carabao Cup. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool will be hoping to cut their past losses in the Carabao Cup. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Reds opened their Premier League against newcomers Leeds United, who gave them a run for their money as the match ended 4-3 in favour of the hosts, courtesy of a late Mohamed Salah penalty as part of his hat-trick. Their next game, while tougher on paper, turned out to be a lot easier than fans were making out to be as they comfortably beat Chelsea 2-0 at the Stamford Bridge.

Lincoln City, on the other hand, have been much more comfortable against all their opponents thus far in the new season, playing five games, and winning all. They have scored 12 goals in the process while conceding just three, which includes a 5-0 hammering of Bradford City in the previous round of the Carabao Cup.

Team News & Tactics

Lincoln City

Lincoln City boast of a much thinner squad at the moment, and are therefore expected to rotate less compared to the defending Premier League champions. Harry Anderson and Joe Walsh return from injuries and are available for the game. Captain Liam Bridcutt, who made his first start after returning from a long-term hamstring injury, could also feature.

Michael Appleton is expected to field his team in his preferred 4-3-3, with Alex Palmer between the sticks as the first choice goalkeeper.

Ahead of him, in a four-man backline, Adam Jackson and Lewis Montsma will lineup at the heart of the defence, hoping to replicate their form from last weekend. Sean Roughan will be replaced by Max Melbourne on the left side, but Timothy Eyoma will retain his place as the right-back.

Bridcutt was taken off near the one-hour mark in the last game against MK Dons so as to avoid any fatigue, and is expected to start on the right side of the midfield three. James Jones will be partnering him on the left, while Conor McGrandles acts as the anchor-man.

Callum Morton and Tom Hopper both are in contention to lead the attack against Liverpool, but the latter might have just got the nod ahead of Morton owing to his goal against MK Dons. Harry Anderson will start on the right-wing, while Man of the Match at the weekend, Jorge Grant takes up the last vacant spot in the XI on the left side.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Palmer; Eyoma, Montsma, Jackson, Melbourne; Bridcutt, McGrandles, Jones; Anderson, Hopper, Grant

Liverpool

Not a great start to 2020/21 for Matip. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Not a great start to 2020/21 for Matip. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, and Joel Matip are unavailable for Jurgen Klopp and will miss the third-round tie. Billy Koumetio’s involvement is dependent on a late fitness test after he returned from injury this week. Assistant manager Pep Lijnders has outlined Liverpool’s selection plans, saying, “The team tomorrow will be a strong one.”

Deputy goalkeeper and veteran Adrian will take charge of proceedings from inside the six-yard box as Alisson gets a well-deserved rest. He will be screened by a traditional back-four, consisting of Neco Williams and new signing Kostas Tsimikas on the right and left sides respectively. They will be given the responsibility of providing width from the back.

Williams and Tsimikas will be flanking the centre-back duo of Sepp van den Berg and Virgil van Dijk. Although, it is highly possible that Koumetio gets the nod ahead of van Dijk should he clear his fitness test.

Thiago Alcantara is expected to make his first competitive start for Liverpool as part of a double pivot, partnering James Milner. Curtis Jones is also in contention to start, but is unlikely to feature as part of a two-man midfield. Takumi Minamino is expected to start ahead of them in the No. 10 role.

Another new addition to the Liverpool team, Diogo Jota will take on the pitch for the first time after signing for the Reds this past Saturday from Wolverhampton Wanderers in a £40 million deal. He will be paired with Xherdan Shaqiri on the left, and Divock Origi as the striker to complete the 4-2-3-1.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Adrian, Williams, van den Berg, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Milner, Thiago; Shaqiri, Minamino, Jota; Origi

Key Stats

  • This is the first ever meeting between Liverpool and Lincoln City since February 1961, when Liverpool came victorious in a Division 2 match.
  • Liverpool lead Lincoln in head-to-head record, winning 13, loosing five, and drawing five.
  • Lincoln are yet to lose a single game this season, playing five, winning five, albeit one of them in a shootout.
  • There have been more than 2.5 goals in eight Liverpool’s of last ten matches.
  • There have been less than 4.5 cards given in each of Liverpool’s last ten games.

Player to Watch

Diogo Jota

With the signing of Jota, Liverpool have shown they mean business. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
With the signing of Jota, Liverpool have shown they mean business. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool wrapped up the signing of Diogo Jota with immaculate speed, before most teams even got to know about his availability. He signed a five-year contract after completing a £40 million transfer – an amount he has lived up to over the past two years with Wolves.

On Thursday, he is expected to make his debut, and could not be given a better start to life at Anfield than with a game against division three Lincoln City. It will be the perfect opportunity for him to regain his form and confidence, and the inclusion of world-class passer Thiago Alcantara is only going to help his cause.

Prediction

Lincoln City 0-3 Liverpool

Premier League teams got off to a flyer of a start in the third round of the Carabao Cup, with everyone except West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City comfortably progressing to the next round. This included high-scoring wins of Newcastle (7-0) and Chelsea (6-0), and we expect Thursday to be no different.

Pep Lijnders has already pointed out that they will be fielding a strong starting lineup, and that already is enough to rule out Lincoln City, despite their strong form. Additionally, the likes of Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino, and Xherdan Shaqiri will be playing to prove a point, and their motivation will be enough to tip Liverpool over the line with a comfortable scoreline.

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