Liverpool welcome Arsenal tonight for a tantalising evening of Carabao Cup action.
The Reds are unbeaten domestically since Wolverhampton Wanderers knocked them out of the FA Cup back in January and will be buoyed by their 2-1 comeback win over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
Things aren’t quite so straightforward for Arsenal after the Gunners surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday with captain Granit Xhaka feeling the full force of the Emirates crowd. The pressure is well and truly mounting on Unai Emery.
But this isn’t a normal meeting as both sides have made wholesale changes for the fixture, though it should still be an absolute cracker.
Read on for our preview, predictions and starting line-ups.
When is Liverpool vs Arsenal and where can I watch live?
Competition: League Cup
Date: Wednesday, 30 October 2019
Kick-off: 7:30 PM GMT
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Football
Unai Emery discusses Granit Xhaka outburst
Last five meetings: Liverpool vs Arsenal
24 August 2019: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal (Premier League)
29 December 2018: Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal (Premier League)
03 November 2018: Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
22 December 2017: Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool (Premier League)
27 August 2017: Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Liverpool (WWDDW) 16-6 Arsenal (LLDDL)
Ones to watch
Liverpool: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored two belters during Liverpool’s recent 4-1 win over Genk in the Champions League and can probably feel a little hard done by not to have given the nod against Spurs, although fitness may have played a part there.
Starting against his old club tonight, and given Georginio Wijnaldum’s anonymous performance against Spurs on Sunday, the England international might well use this as a chance to lay down a marker and send Jurgen Klopp a signal of intent.
Key stat: Oxlade-Chamberlain completed 100% of his take-ons and scored with each of his two shots on target against Genk last week.
Arsenal: Lucas Torreira
Xhaka’s exit from the pitch against Crystal Palace on Sunday made for uncomfortable viewing regardless of your allegiance, well, unless you’re a Spurs fan. Then it might just have eased the pain slightly.
Even Lucas Torreira looked visibly distressed at his teammate’s ordeal on the sidelines but now that the dust has settled, the Uruguay international will know there’s likely a spot in Emery’s midfield up for grabs. This trip to Anfield should present a great opportunity to show what he can do.
Key stat: No Arsenal player has made more tackles in the Premier League than Torreira (72) since he joined the club last year.
Jurgen Klopp assesses Liverpool’s win over Spurs
Liverpool have named a heavily-rotated starting XI for the visit of Arsenal, with 11 changes from the weekend’s Premier League side.
Caoimhín Kelleher gets the nod ahead of Alisson and Adrian in goal, with James Milner slotting in at left-back. Adam Lallana has been given a chance in midfield, joined by Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Divock Origi, Rhian Brewster and Harvey Elliot lead the line, the latter becoming the youngest player to appear for Liverpool in a competitive game at Anfield.
Confirmed XI: Kelleher; Williams, Gomez, Van den Berg, Milner; Lallana, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Elliot, Origi, Brewster.
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Mesut Ozil has been handed just his third start of the season for Arsenal at Anfield, but the former German international does not captain the side.
That responsibility falls on Hector Bellerin, with Granit Xhaka understandably out of the squad. The Spaniard is joined in defence by Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac. Gabriel Martinelli leads the line at the top of what appears to be a 4-2-3-1, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka flanking Ozil.
Confirmed XI: Martinez; Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Torreira, Willock; Maitland-Niles, Ozil, Saka; Martinelli.
Although Klopp will want to mop up as many trophies as possible, it’s the Premier League that will take priority this season. For Arsenal, Emery just needs to find results wherever possible and an away win at Liverpool in the cup could be the perfect tonic for the Spaniard.
That said, Anfield has been anything but a happy hunting ground for the Gunners in recent years, don’t expect that to change this time.
Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal