Football UK

Liverpool’s selection plan for Carabao Cup as fresh “attack” vow made


Liverpool are set to name a much-changed side against Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup.

But assistant boss Pep Lijnders has vowed that the Reds will “attack” the competition as they look to end Manchester City’s League Cup dominance.

Diogo Jota, who joined at the weekend in a £45million deal from Wolves, is set to make his first start, as is summer signing Kostas Tsimikas.

Adrian, Neco Williams, Curtis Jones, James Milner and Takumi Minamino are all likely to play too in what will remain a strong lineup.

Asked on Wednesday how the Premier League champions are likely to look, Lijnders said: “With players who feel responsibility to show our hunger, the desire.

“One of our main things over the last two years or longer is that we see each next game as the next final, this mentality is in our group.

New boy Jota is set to make his debut

“So the way we prepare Lincoln will be in the same way how we prepared, say, Chelsea over the weekend.

“We are fully prepared. We know they had a great run so far, top of the league. A counter-attacking side with speed on the wings, with technical players on the inside. Good set-pieces, I think they scored five goals already with that.

“When they play football, they properly play football, with good switches between players and good flexibility.

“So, an experienced manager, a club that over the last four years was quite successful with two promotions. So we have to be prepared – our team selection will reflect that.”

Lijnders continued: “We want to attack this competition, that’s for sure.

“That always starts with the first game in front of you and that’s tomorrow, so we want to attack that game, show our hunger, show our desire, put a team out who represents our club – with big, big names involved, big, big players involved.

“And a lot of talent as well.”

Billy Koumetio was talked up by Lijnders on Wednesday

Young defender Billy Koumetio impressed during pre-season in Austria.

And with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip sidelined, and Ki-Jana Hoever having been sold to Wolves, he could also feature if passed fit after training on Wednesday afternoon.

Lijnders talked up the 17-year-old, declaring: “He’s a proper talent. He needs time but he’s a proper talent. We want to give him that time.

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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.

In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves’ Diogo Jota has arrived too, in a shock deal worth a potential £45million.

Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.

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“He’s a very tall centre-back, but has a real strength in the air, not only in set-pieces. If you are a pressing team, you have to accept there will be a lot of long balls and second balls, so it’s really important that you have centre-halves that are good in the air.

“Billy, even in the air, can put the ball where he wants to put it. For his age, that’s really good and then you see his physicality, how strong he is.

“We like to give him the opportunity to develop with us and become a strong centre-half for the future for Liverpool FC.”

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