Capital One Cup: Quarters beckon as Rodgers faces old employers
Defending Champions Liverpool welcome Swansea City to Anfield as Brendan Rodgers faces his old side for the first time since making the move to Merseyside. Both sides sealed their progress to this round with hard-fought wins. Liverpool beat West Brom 2-1 with the help of a Nuri Sahin brace, and the Swans needed a late Garry Monk winner to see off lowly Crawley Town 3-2.
Liverpool: Fabio Borini, Lucas Leiva and Glen Johnson are ruled out of this game with injuries. Rodgers fielded a youthful side against West Brom and the same trend could continue, especially with tough fixtures against Newcastle and Chelsea on the horizon in the Premier League. Rodgers’ priority would be to save his sole striker Luis Suarez, from burning out. Also, with the Uruguayan is prone to getting yellow-carded, it might be best for Rodgers to keep him away from action for this one, as Suarez faces a one-game ban if he receives one more yellow card before December 1st. Sebastian Coates was impressive in the second half of the Merseyside derby, and could start in defence alongside Jamie Carragher, who will be the experienced hand along with Stewart Downing in what will otherwise be a youthful side. This is what a possible starting 11 could look like:
Swansea: Michel Vorm is ruled out with the injury he suffered against Manchester City. Neil Taylor is on the long-term injury list for the Swans. Swansea’s form seems to have withered away after what was an amazing start to the season. But, they were impressive on the weekend against Manchester City, where only an impressive Joe Hart performance thwarted them. Swansea will once again be reliant on Michu, who has had a dream start in the Premier League. With Laudrup looking to get as far as possible in this competition, expect the Swans to field a very strong line-up for this one, with a possible toss-up for a spot on the right wing between Pablo Hernandez and Nathan Dyer.
The Capital One Cup will be taken seriously by both these sides as it is arguably their best chance for silverware this season. Liverpool fans had a rather long trophy drought ended in this competition last season, and everyone around Anfield wouldn’t mind this trophy staying in the Anfield trophy cabinet for a season more.
Wedged between two important league games, I was hoping for a kinder draw – Brendan Rodgers
I know there is something special when you see former players and coaches, but for me it is Swansea against Liverpool, not against Brendan Rodgers or Joe Allen. - Michael Laudrup
KICKOFF TIME: 20:00 GMT (31ST OCTOBER 2012), 01:30 IST (1ST NOVEMBER 2012)