Venue – Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
Date & Time – Wednesday, September 25th @ 19:45
Current Odds – MK Dons 14/1, Draw 13/2, Liverpool 9/50
MK Dons Form
Paul Tisdale’s MK Dons side currently lies 15th in League One with 12 points from its opening 9 games of the season.
MK Dons have won four, lost five and drawn no games in the league so far.
In the Carabao Cup, MK Dons beat arch-rivals AFC Wimbledon on penalties in the first round after the tie finished 2-2 following extra time.
In round two, they won 4-1 at Southend United in a game that was far closer than the scoreline suggests.
MK Dons have lost their last two league games, both 1-0 and both at home, so they are struggling at Stadium MK at the moment.
The Reds made it six wins from six in the Premier League with victory at Chelsea on Sunday. Liverpool are five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the league.
It will be a far different team that takes to the pitch in Milton Keynes on Wednesday night, however.
Last season, Liverpool exited the League Cup at this third round stage after losing 2-1 at home to Chelsea – a night when an Eden Hazard wonder-goal was worthy enough of winning any game.
While Jurgen Klopp won’t be placing huge importance on the Carabao Cup, he will certainly want to keep the winning habit going, as long as it doesn’t come at a cost in terms of injuries.
MK Dons Team News
Paul Tisdale has been setting MK Dons out in a 3-5-2 shape for most of this season. This formation can easily revert to a 3-5-1-1 or even a 5-3-1-1 when out of possession.
You might think that Tisdale would adopt a four-man backline to nullify Liverpool’s threat from out wide. Yet, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané almost guaranteed to not play any part, Tisdale could stick with his three-man defence.
Liverpool Team News
Jurgen Klopp, like most Premier League managers at this stage of the Carabao Cup, is likely to heavily rotate his starting eleven for this game.
It has been suggested that young Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher is set for his competitive debut in goal for The Reds. Meaning Adrian will be rested.
In defence, I expect Ki-Jana Hoever to come in at right-back. Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren will probably form the central-defensive partnership and James Milner could start on the left.
Naby Keita has been passed fit so he may start in midfield with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana. Klopp is almost certain to rest Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum.
In attack, the three first-teamers – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané – are likely to be given the night off.
This means that Rhian Brewster will get a start in the frontline. Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi are both out. Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott could play on either side of Brewster.
MK Dons XI (3-5-2) – Nicholls; Poole, Martin, Walsh; McGrandles, Houghton, Kasumu, Gilbey, Lewington; Nombe, Healy
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Kelleher; Hoever, Gomez, Lovren, Milner; Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana; Jones, Brewster, Elliott
When they last met
Liverpool have never played MK Dons before.
They did, of course, have many meetings with the Wimbledon ‘Crazy Gang’ back in the 80s and 90s, however, I’m not going to even step foot in that whole argument.
The matter for contention is whether MK Dons can be considered the reincarnation of Wimbledon. The club left an enraged community in its wake when relocating to Milton Keynes back in the early 2000s. The club’s former supporters created AFC Wimbledon in the aftermath of the move.
MK Dons 0 – 2 Liverpool
Even with a second-string team out, Liverpool should be looking to win this tie relatively comfortably. Expect a Reds win by at least two goals.