Liverpool take on Middlesbrough in the League Cup clash tonight and Brendan Rodgers shared his team news.
Liverpool’s first signing of the summer, Rickie Lambert is going to get his first start against Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup tonight, confirmed the Reds boss.
He said, “Rickie’s been training very, very well. He came in during pre-season and he’s been getting himself fit. He played in a lot of the games [during pre-season]. He got himself to a good level of fitness and this will be a game that he will start in.
“He’s come off the bench and made an impact for us. He’s a wonderful player, a great technician and he makes it really, really difficult for defenders. I know he’s really looking forward to tomorrow night and hopefully he can get a goal on his first start.”
Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson will be assessed this week after Brendan Rodgers confirmed that the pair have picked up groin and hip injuries respectively. Rodgers would be hoping that the injuries are not serious since Liverpool can’t afford to face more setbacks after gathering six points from their first five Premier League games.
Coutinho was not even included in the squad against West Ham United on Saturday due to a groin problem and is ‘highly unlikely’ to feature in the Capital One Cup against Middlesbrough. Henderson, meanwhile, will have a hip strain looked at before the third round tie later this evening
“We just need to assess one or two,” Rodgers explained
“Jordan Henderson picked up a knock so we need to assess where he’s at. And Philippe Coutinho is highly unlikely for tomorrow as well.”
He said that with the injuries in the squad at the moment, some academy players could hope to take this chance and feature for the Reds.
“We haven’t got any guys returning. Glen Johnson is still out. Joe Allen and Emre Can aren’t fit. Daniel Sturridge won’t be fit. Young Jon Flanagan has obviously had his operation.
“So we’ve got a few injuries to cope with but it’ll always give a chance to one or two of our younger players, who are doing very well at the Academy, to get a chance to be in the squad. That’s my first look.”
There is no fitness concern for Javier Manquillo, who was substituted just 20 minutes into the match against West Ham.
The Northern Irishman added: “I spoke to him yesterday – it was purely a tactical decision. The boy has been fantastic since he came in. He’s fine.
“I felt that at 2-0 after 20 minutes, we were struggling in the game. I didn’t want to wait to make a change.
“We went to three centre-halves and changed to 3-5-2, just to give West Ham something else to think about. We got a goal, back to 2-1, but couldn’t find the finishing touch to get anything else.”