Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Kevin Friend
Date & Time – Thursday, December 1st @ 19:45
Current Odds – Liverpool 1/1, Draw 14/5, Arsenal 12/5
Time for more Carabao Cup action on Thursday night. Arsenal, again, are the visitors. Let’s hope for something similar to last season’s 5-5 encounter! Expect stars like Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino to shine again for The Reds.
Liverpool made it three league wins from three by beating Arsenal this week. They disposed of Lincoln City with a 7-2 win away to the League One side last Thursday night.
Jürgen Klopp’s Reds have certainly hit the ground running this season and the youth and fringe players who will feature in the Carabao Cup will be hugely motivated to progress further. This would guarantee these players more first-team game-time as the season goes on.
Monday night’s defeat was Arsenal’s first since a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa close to the end of last season. The Gunners have six points from 9 in the league and won convincingly at Leicester City last week in the previous round of this competition.
It does look like Mikel Arteta is the right man for the job at Arsenal and winning the FA Cup against Chelsea in August will have done wonders for the club.
Liverpool Team News
Joël Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out for Liverpool.
The back four and Alisson will all be rested for this game. That means Adrián will start in goals for Klopp’s side. Kostas Tsimikas and Neco Williams should be the full-backs and I think Rhys Williams will partner Sepp van den Berg at the heart of the defence.
Marko Grujic could start in midfield like he did last week at Lincoln City. Curtis Jones will get another runout and James Milner might be thrown in to add a wealth of experience.
Klopp’s front three may be Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Diogo Jota.
Arsenal Team News
Arteta is still without Shkodran Mustafi, Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares and Emile Smith-Rowe.
Defender Sokratis will face a late fitness test ahead of the game.
Arteta will stick with his preferred 3-4-3 shape. Bukayo Saka will provide a particular threat from the left while Nicolas Pépé will add a huge impetus of pace on the right.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Adrián; Williams N, Williams R, Van den Berg, Tsimikas; Grujic, Milner, Jones; Shaqiri, Minamino, Jota
Arsenal XI (3-4-3) – Leno; Holding, Luiz, Kolašinac; Maitland-Niles, Willock, Elneny, Saka; Pépé, Nketiah, Nelson
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool won 3-1 on Monday night against Arsenal in the Premier League. Sadio Mané, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota were the scorers after The Gunners had gone in front through an Alexandre Lacazette strike.
The sides played out an incredible 5-5 draw at Anfield in this competition last season. Liverpool went on to win on penalties. Half as much action this Thursday night would keep us very happy indeed.
LIVERPOOL 3 – 4 ARSENAL
I think Arsenal could sneak this one, simply because Arteta could put out a slightly stronger starting lineup. Against Liverpool’s young and inexperienced defence, the visitors are likely to create chances aplenty. I think there will be another feast of goals in store for us but The Gunners might just shade this one.