Liverpool v Arsenal | EFL Cup - will this season be different? | Live fans match thread!

Good morning all, hope everyone is well. What a fantastic start to our 2020/21 Premier League campaign but will the domestic cups be a different story? Will we field severely weakened teams and crash out early as we have in other recent seasons.

It's easy to understand why we appear to treat the EFL and FA Cups with disdain and the reality is we haven't done. We've simply put all the many fixtures we face into an order of priority where the two cups in question come last. They seem to be used as a kind of unofficial break where we rest our best players in the hope they'll perform better in the competitions we've placed higher up our wish list.

I really value the domestic cups and would like us to reach the later stages, ideally the finals. This may require us to field far stronger teams. While I acknowledge these cups can be a helpful vehicle in providing our younger players some valuable experience, if it's of the losing variety I feel that's counter-productive. In previous seasons I also concede for us to have won the Champions League, Premier League and other trophies it may have been a necessary evil to use largely weakened teams in the domestic cups, but not any more!

Surely now we have a good enough squad to put out teams realistically capable of winning every single game we play. That's what the aim should be. Use a smattering of youngsters but make sure there are enough high quality senior players with them and on the bench to beat our opponents. Tomorrow's opponent is Arsenal and so we should field a suitably robust team. Subject to player availability mine would be something along the following lines.


A solid line-up where I feel we finally have high quality cover for our regular front three. Would Minamino, Shaqiri and Jota be too big a change though? one which risks them not being keyed in to each other's play enough to click. Not sure but we have these players now so let's start using them.

In defence it's a similar story - we have good cover for both fullbacks so let's use them. What we don't have in my view is reliably good cover for our centre backs so no messing about, stick with our best pairing. With Gomez not long back from injury he and Virgil may even benefit from some extra minutes together.

In midfield we have the defensive strength from Fabinho, the experience and tenacity from Milner and the youthful vision and ever improving all round quality from Jones.

All in all I feel you'll agree Pep Lijnders would be mad not to use my team which will result in at least a four nil victory. Although if you can pick a higher margin winning line-up please post it for discussion.

Here are Pep's pre-match thoughts (scheduled to be aired live at 12.30PM BST)

Lastly, on the subject of Pep Lijnders, taking the EFL pressers - it makes me wonder, could his increasing involvement signal Klopp having one eye on Pep taking over from him when he leaves. If so, is this what we'd favour versus for example a Gerrard appointment?

My view is unless Gerrard has picked up further experience at clubs in addition to Rangers and really shown himself to be successful then Lijnders would be my choice to succeed Klopp. Obviously we hope Klopp will be with us for many, many, many years but food for thought which adds an extra element of interest to any games Pep is more heavily involved in.

Liver Bird's scorecast: 4-0!

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Prediction League
How many of our regular front three (Mo, Mane and Bobby) will start? (5 points)
Within 10% ie: 60% covers you from 60% to 69%, what will be our match possession? (5 points)
What will be the final score (full time result not including penalty shootout) (5 Points)
Get all three correct for a bonus 15 points!
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