MK Dons v Liverpool Preview, Predicted XI for the Reds & Match Prediction, Carabao Cup 3rd Round
Premier League leaders and defending European champions Liverpool kickstart their domestic cup campaign with a trip to Milton Keynes to face MK Dons in the third round of the Carabao Cup, with manager Jurgen Klopp expected to ring in the changes after two gruelling away days at Napoli and Chelsea.
The Reds, who will be keen to do well in the domestic cups this term, have an abysmal record in both the League Cup and the FA Cup in recent seasons. Since reaching the final of the League Cup in 2016, when they were beaten by Manchester City on penalties, the Reds have one semifinal appearance to show for in either competition.
In the last two seasons of the League Cup, they have not managed to even get past the first hurdle - the third round. They were beaten by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in 2017, while Eden Hazard magic gave Chelsea a 2-1 win at Anfield last season.
But despite that record, Klopp is expected to shield his first-team regulars for the bigger fish the Reds have to fry - with a 100% record in the Premier League to protect, and a Champions League defence to salvage after defeat in Naples.
Adrian San Miguel, who has done reasonably well in goal, is expected to sit this one out, with young Irish 'keeper Caoimhin Kelleher expected to fill his boots. Young English striker Rhian Brewster is also expected to start and make his competitive debut for the Reds.
With Divock Origi injured, this is a big chance for Brewster to stake a claim to be the backup to Roberto Firmino, having made the matchday squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Xherdan Shaqiri is expected to make his first start of the season, too, along with Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, while Joe Gomez will also make a comeback to the side.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson being precious assets for Klopp, it won't be a surprise to see youngsters Ki-Jana Hoever and Adam Lewis at the full-back positions.
Naby Keita is also pencilled in for his comeback from injury, with young summer signings Harvey Elliott and Sepp van den Berg possibly making appearances too.
MK Dons haven't had a great start to the season themselves, sitting 15th in League One with 12 points from 9 games. But they will be looking for another giant-killing act, similar to five years ago when Manchester United were handed a 4-0 humbling at Stadium MK.
Liverpool Predicted XI
Caoimhin Kelleher, Ki-Jana Hoever, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lewis, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri, Rhian Brewster, Harvey Elliott
Even though the Reds are expected to field a second-string XI that could look disjointed at times, they should have too much quality for a team of the stature and with the form of MK Dons.
Prediction: MK Dons 1-3 LiverpoolPublished 23 Sep 2019, 21:25 IST