By 90Min
September 24, 2019

Liverpool, along with the rest of the Premier League top seven from last season, get their Carabao Cup campaign underway on Wednesday, travelling to face League One's MK Dons.

An Eden Hazard masterclass knocked the Reds out of this competition in the third round last season, as Jurgen Klopp bet big on the Champions and Premier League instead.

Klopp's side have started this season remarkably well. They sit five points clear at the top of the table, winning all six of their Premier League games. The only stain on their perfect season so far was the defeat in Naples on matchday one of their Champions League defence.

Regardless of how serious Liverpool want to take the Carabao Cup this season, the expectation is that they should brush MK Dons aside. Expect a youth-laden lineup however from Klopp, as several fringe stars look to prove their worth.


Here's how the Reds could line up on Wednesday.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Caoimhin Kelleher (GK) - The 20-year-old Ireland Under-21 international joined Liverpool's academy back in 2015, rising through the club's youth set-up. He made three appearances in pre-season prior to the 2018/19 season. With Adrian the temporary number one in Alisson's absence, Kelleher could get his chance on Wednesday, despite only recently overcoming his own injury problems.

Joe Gomez (RB) - Prior to his ankle injury last season, Gomez was a consistent performer alongside Virgil van Dijk at centre back. However, the Joel Matip-van Dijk partnership has become one of the finest in the country and the ex-Charlton man has been forced to fight for sporadic first-team opportunities. He may be used in a wide role to give Trent Alexander-Arnold some respite.

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Sepp Van Den Berg (CB) - The Netherlands Under-19 international was the Reds' first signing since winning their sixth Champions League crown. The 17-year-old could get his first chance in the first-team since pre-season in this one. Fellow Dutchman Ki-Jana Hoever, who impressed in the FA Cup last season, is also a possibility.

Dejan Lovren (CB) - The Croatian, who played in the World Cup final just over a year ago has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of van Dijk and almost left Anfield this summer amid interest from abroad. Lovren will provide an experienced head in an otherwise youthful lineup.

Yasser Larouci (LB) - The converted winger is one of the club's most exciting young talents. The 18-year-old French-Algerian was as star performer in Liverpool's fourth FA Youth Cup win and travelled on the senior side's pre-season tour of the US this summer. He will hope for chances to establish himself as a natural and realistic backup to Andy Robertson, something lacking from Klopp's first-team squad.


Midfielders

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Adam Lallana (CM) - A former fan-favourite at Anfield, Lallana's injury issues have forced him down the pecking order over the past couple of campaigns. The 31-year-old still has the ability to play at the highest level, but he has been remodelled as a deep-lying playmaker.


Harvey Elliott (CM) - After becoming the youngest player to ever play in the Premier League at Fulham last season (at the ripe old age of 16 and 30 days), Elliot joined his boyhood club in the summer. Blessed with immense talent, the domestic cups could be a great opportunity for Elliott to showcase his budding talent.

James Milner (CM) - Likely to wear the captain's armband, Milner along with Lovren and Lallana will provide experience and nous in an unfamiliar-looking team. Youth-team starlet Curtis Jones could also be in line for a rare first-team appearance at some point on Wedne


Forwards

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (RW) - A cruciate ligament rupture cruelly ruled Oxlade-Chamberlain out for almost all of last season. The Ox has made just two league starts this season and was an unused sub against Chelsea on Sunday. The performances of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum have made it tough for the ex-Arsenal man to break into Klopp's midfield but his energy and dynamism means he offers something quite different to all three. In Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane's absence, he could be used further forward on Wednesday.


Xherdan Shaqiri (LW) - The Swiss played a rather important role last season, registering nine goals and assists in the league, whilst his performance against Manchester United will be the one that Liverpool fans remember fondly. However, his influence waned in the second half of 2018/19 and the former Bayern man has only notched up 14 competitive minutes this season. 

Rhian Brewster (ST) - Another one of the club's hottest prospects, Brewster's emergence has been a long time coming for Liverpool fans. After returning from serious injury, the fact that he hasn't been loaned out shows how much Klopp rates the 19-year-old and hopefully, he can put in a good shift on Wednesday.

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