Perfect Liverpool host Chelsea tonight in the first of their double-header meetings. Liverpool come into this game having won their opening seven matches in a season in all competitions. (Klopp’s side have now surpassed the six wins achieved at the start of the 1961/62 season under Bill Shankley).
Chelsea come into tonight’s game having dropped their first 2 points of the season at West ham but are unbeaten in their last seven visits to Anfield- a run that stretched back to 2012.
Liverpool are the most successful team in this competition (eight-time winners) while Chelsea are second with five League Cup titles.
Liverpool lost their last League Cup final to Manchester City in Klopp’s first season at the club.
Liverpool have won only two of their last 14 games against Chelsea in all competitions (D7 L5) with their two victories recorded at Stamford Bridge.
None of Chelsea’s last eight managers to manage in the League Cup have lost their opening match in this competition (W7 D1).
Claudio Ranieri was the last Chelsea manager to lose his first League Cup game and he lost to Liverpool in November 2000.
Liverpool have lost their last three League Cup matches without scoring a goal- their worst ever run in this competition.
Liverpool have not suffered successive eliminations from the League Cup in the third round since 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons.
Since losing their third-round tie to Newcastle United in 2010-11 season, Chelsea have progressed from each of their last seven League Cup ties at this round.
This is the eighth League Cup tie between the two teams and the first at the third-round stage since November 2000, when the Reds won 2-1.
HOME TEAM NEWS
Former Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke is passed fit for this one while Simon Mignolet is expected to replace Alisson in goal for his first appearance this season.
Virgil Van Dijk is recovering from a minor rib injury and could be replaced by Dejan Lovren who has trained four times after his pelvic problems while this game comes too soon for Origi and Lallana.
Expect Klopp to put the depth of his squad into use tonight especially ahead of the cracker against the same opposition at the weekend.
AWAY TEAM NEWS
Chelsea are expected to be without the trio of Rudiger (groin), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (foot) and Pedro Rodriguez (shoulder)
There could be rotation too for the Blues ahead of the weekend match up against Table-topping Liverpool.
This is a mouth-watering fixture and the ultimate pick of the third-round ties. This could be a curtain raiser for what is to come when these two teams clash at the weekend in the Premier League and whoever wins this will use it going into that game.
Liverpool have been defensively resolute at home since the turn of the year and Van Dijk’s purchase has helped in no small measure, but they face a Chelsea side that can trouble any defence especially with Eden Hazard.
Teams have come to Anfield and have wilted. Can Chelsea upset the odd, or will they be another casualty of the Anfield Magic?
Both sides will want to win this game but fancy Liverpool’s impressive depth and the boisterous Anfield crowd to scrape them through.
(BTTS; Liverpool to win 3-1)