Daniel Taylor discusses Liverpool’s English Football League Cup clash with Derby County.
After an absolutely thrilling 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool must stay composed for their mid-week tie with Derby County. Klopp must ensure they maintain their current form after gaining 10 points from a possible 12 from games against Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester and Chelsea.
Personally, I believe this game is more significant than some may feel. Yes, it’s Derby County, but a recurring issue for Liverpool is getting a great result against huge rivals and title contenders, but then letting standards drop by losing to sides like Burnley.
Confidence is peak within the squad after impressive wins against top sides. Liverpool’s starting fixtures was definitely a big hill to climb, but Klopp’s men overcame the task and have put Liverpool in a great position. A convincing win mid-week would keep confidence high and prove a point and show that Liverpool mean business.
An interesting point is the view on Joel Matip from the fans. My personal opinion is that he’s one of the better centre-backs I have seen in a Liverpool shirt in a long time.
I’ll tell you why: a lot went unnoticed from him on Friday. His strength and physicality proved to be an asset. Costa has a tendency of trying to bully centre-backs, however, this was a complete impossibility against Matip,
Another key point worth mentioning was, defensively, his height was very effective; in the air he was sublime. Matip is 25-years-old with plenty of time to improve and seeing his name on the team sheet excites me.
How do I think we should line up against Derby?
Formation: 4-3-3 (Flat)
I feel this formation has worked well for us, so I don’t see any need to change a working system.
XI: Karius, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Hendo, Stewart, Lallana, Brannagan, Ings, Mane
I feel this would be a comfortable game for Karius to come back into the squad so if he is fit enough I would prefer to see him start ahead of Mignolet.
The same back four that played Chelsea should play, aside from Moreno for Milner. Despite being a natural midfielder, Milner has displayed his great versatility. I honestly feel he has done a better job than Moreno, so if the Spaniard does start I expect it would only be to give Milner a rest.
With such a challenging start to the season, it would be wise to give hard working Wijnaldum a well-earned rest and bring in Kevin Stewart. This would give the 23-year-old a big chance to showcase his ability as well as being a real test for him. I do believe Hendo and Lallana should start as we want to start strong. I would prefer to take the lead and then give them a rest.
I feel Ings should be given a chance to lead the front line simply because I see him improving every time I watch him play. He has the ability to punish Derby. I would also give Brannagan a run-out and let him prove what he can do against a Championship side. He is a player with great potential – hopefully, he lives up to it. The reason I would start Mane is to try and score early as he is lethal and would be too much for Derby to cope with.
It is fair to say Derby has been poor this season sitting 20th in the Championship after eight games played with six points. Nothing less than a win for Liverpool would be acceptable for me.
Could you please take 60 seconds out of your day to vote for Rousing the Kop as the Best New Football Club and Michael Mongie as the Best Young Football Blogger. Simply click on the picture below to take you to the voting form!