Liverpool to ‘trust young players’ for League Cup game against Derby, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Liverpool to ‘trust young players’ for League Cup game against Derby

LONDON – Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has hinted that the Reds will rotate their squad and give opportunities to youngsters in their League Cup third-round clash with League One side Derby County at Anfield on Wednesday.

Speaking in place of Jurgen Klopp on Tuesday, he said: “As we proved last year, this competition gives moments for talent but also the academy. We will need to use the full squad again to compete if we want to go for the Cups.

“If you work for this club, you have to trust young players. Of course we’re going to see them because it would be idiotic not to do.”

The Reds, who are the League Cup holders, have had a roller-coaster couple of days. They beat Tottenham 2-1 last weekend to end a two-game losing run in the Premier League, but that was followed by Monday’s Champions League draw in which they were drawn to face European champions Real Madrid in the last 16. Then came the news on the same day that the club was “up for sale”.

Lijnders clarified that Fenway Sports Group, the club owners, are seeking investors.

“It’s nothing new for a club to try to find new investors. For me, they are good owners. Do I feel they are here for the long-term? I think the statement was really clear, to be honest,” he said, referring to FSG saying it was open to investment but fully committed to the Reds.

Lijnders also addressed the team’s inconsistency on the pitch this season, with the Reds lying in eighth in the Premier League.

“If there was one reason why we have been inconsistent, that would be easy,” he said.

“It’s good that we have been able to correct a few things and put in some solutions. After Champions League and Tottenham, it feels we’re every time a little bit closer to who we really are.”

Liverpool are aiming to win the League Cup for a record-extending 10th time, but they were knocked out in the third round as recently as the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Leeds’ 2-1 league win over Liverpool at the end of last month was the only home defeat the Merseyside club have suffered in their last 17 matches at Anfield, and so they should have little concern about facing a side who are two tiers down.

Liverpool and Derby last met in the third round of the 2016-17 League Cup, with the Reds winning 3-0.

Klopp will be without long-term absentees Joel Matip, Luis Diaz, Arthur Melo, Diogo Jota and Naby Keita, while James Milner could return after concussion. - AFP, REUTERS

LEAGUE CUPliverpooljurgen klopp