Liverpool will not be looking to settle for anything less than a win against Preston North End in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup this evening. The Reds travel to Deepdale off the back of an incredible 5-0 thrashing of bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday and will be the firm favourites against second-tier opposition upon their return to action.
The Reds are yet to taste defeat in any competition this season but will be eager to avoid an embarrassing slip-up against Preston, who currently occupy 19th place in the Championship table.
It is likely to be a much-changed side for Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp expected to rest a number of key players ahead of their next league outing against high-flying Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
Express Sport takes a look at the Reds side that could be tasked with putting Preston to the sword under the lights in Lancashire.
Goalkeeper – Adrian
Adrian could be poised for a recall to the Liverpool side in place of Alisson Becker, who has started every Premier League game so far this season.
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The former is likely to feature ahead of second-choice stopper Caoimhin Kelleher, with the Irishman set to miss out as he continues his recovery from a bout of illness.
Assistant manager Pep Lijnders told reporters on Monday: “He [Kelleher] trained with the team, but it seems he had a little setback so he probably will not be involved.”
Defence – N Williams, Phillips, Gomez, Tsimikas
Klopp could decide to ring the changes in defence with an all-new back four that would see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson all rested.
Neco Williams may be selected to come in at right-back, with Kostas Tsimikas poised to feature on the left after impressing during the early stages of the campaign.
Meanwhile, a central pairing of Nathaniel Phillips and Joe Gomez could be tasked with shutting out Preston’s forward line.
The latter, who has fallen behind Joel Matip in the pecking order as of late, was named as a substitute against United but failed to get any minutes at Old Trafford.
Midfield – Morton, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones
This evening’s fixture may arrive as the perfect opportunity for Liverpool academy star Tyler Morton to make a splash in the middle of the park.
He was one of his side’s best players throughout the 3-0 win over Norwich City in the previous round of the Carabao Cup and may be handed another chance to impress against Preston.
Morton could be paired with an experienced operator in the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Curtis Jones will be fully expected to run the show if he starts at Deepdale.
The 20-year-old has been throughly impressive in the absence of Georginio Wijnaldum this season and will be looking to stake his claim for a continued first-team role with another strong performance.
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Attack – Minamino, Origi, Mane
Takumi Minamino has endured a slow start to his Liverpool career since joining the club from Red Bull Salzburg in January of last year.
However, he is likely to be given a rare chance to shine against Preston but Kaide Gordon, who earned plenty of plaudits for his efforts at Norwich last month, is only just back from injury and may have to settle for a spot on the bench.
Sadio Mane could therefore play over the 17-year-old given the Senegalese winger was only a substitute against United.
Meanwhile, Divock Origi could be tasked with providing the goals for Liverpool as they look to book their place into the fifth round of the Carabao Cup in style.
Expected Liverpool XI vs Preston (4-3-3): Adrian; N Williams, Phillips, Gomez, Tsimikas; Morton, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones; Minamino, Origi, Mane.