The EFL Cup fixture at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening gives Jurgen Klopp a chance to field some of Liverpool’s fringe players as he rotates his squad.
What’s your ideal starting XI vs Spurs on Tuesday night? ⚽https://t.co/ZU54i6T34P
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) October 23, 2016
With the visitors expected to field a weakened side due to their European commitments, the Reds could afford to hand some players with a point to prove a chance to do just that under the lights at Anfield.
Simon Mignolet has already been confirmed in the starting line-up, but here are three players who deserve a chance to show their worth against Spurs.
The English striker’s season was ended early last year, as he missed the majority of the campaign due to injury, and upon his return his first-team action has been limited to a cameo from the bench in the their 3-0 win over Derby in the EFL Cup third round.
Danny Ings knocking on the door for first team action and after recent performances for the under 23's it'd be well deserved!! ???????????????????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/UrgpuEzFqg
— Ben Webb (@benwebblfc) October 18, 2016
With four goals in three appearances for the under 23’s the former Burnley man is biding his time, despite being well down Klopp’s pecking order.
His high work ethic and finishing ability makes the 24-year-old a threat upfront, but so far he has been surplus to requirements.
Instead of complaining Ings has worked hard and continued about his business in the youth set-up, which is why he deserves a chance on Tuesday evening to show what he can offer the first team.
Liverpool’s attack has been a strong point so far this campaign and it is hard to see him forcing his way in to the starting line-up week-in week-out, although he is definitely worthy of a place on the bench.
With Ings training with the first team on Sunday after being left out of the ‘mini derby’ against Everton he could be set to play some part at Anfield.
The Serbian has made just one start for the Merseyside outfit this season, in the previous round of the EFL Cup away to Derby in a 3-0 win.
Jurgen Klopp set to turn to youth tomorrow with Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria and Grujic all lined up to face Spurs: https://t.co/KVQq3eI203
— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarrett) October 24, 2016
His two Premier League appearances have come from the bench in the defeat to Burnley and in the 5-1 home win over Hull City, having positive impacts in both outings.
At only 20 years of age the attacking midfielder has a bright future ahead of him and was the star of Liverpool’s pre-season campaign, with many tipping him to pick up regular first-team action off the back of that.
It hasn’t materialised yet for Grujic though, however he is closer to a breakthrough than Ings having been selected on the bench a number of times this campaign.
Tuesday could be the perfect opportunity for the youngster to showcase his ability and prove that he can perform when it matters, not just during pre-season.
The chances of Sakho earning his place in the squad for the visit of Tottenham are very slim, especially after the centre-half featured in the u23’s 2-0 victory over Everton on Sunday.
His attitude and ill-discipline off the field led to Klopp claiming he will not play at all for the first team this season, before the French defender recovered from injury to play for the club’s youth side.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) October 23, 2016
He was one of the Reds’ top performers at the back end of last season, before an eventually overturned doping ban ended his campaign early, with his last appearance coming in a 4-0 derby win in which he scored.
After a shaky start to life at Anfield the Frenchman became one of their strongest defenders and was a fan favourite as he wore his heart on his sleeve every time he wore the club’s colours.
At the back Liverpool have been suspect this season, and although Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren seem to be building a positive partnership they are still vulnerable defending set pieces.
That was evident on Saturday as a late Gareth McAuley goal from a corner set up a tense finish against West Bromwich Albion, and Sakho’s presence at the back could possibly help deal with the issue.
Unless the club are hit by an injury crisis at centre-back it is unlikely that Sakho will feature anytime soon, as Klopp seems defiant in his stance on the defender.