Wednesday 29th Oct, 2014, 20:00 GMT
Liverpool look to get back to winning ways when they host Swansea City at Anfield in the fourth round of Capital One Cup tonight. The Reds needed a record-breaking penalty shootout win against Championship side Middlesbrough in the previous round after falling behind twice. The 14-13 tie-breaker win equaled the British record for the highest-scoring post match contest set over three years ago in a Football League Trophy tie. The weekend draw with Hull City only added to the frustrations of Liverpool fans and a victory over fellow Premier League side Swansea City is much needed to ease the pressure of Brendan Rodgers’ shoulders.
The Swans have been impressive so far this season with Gary Monk earning rave reviews since being appointed the permanent manager. The South Welsh club are in sixth position after an impressive 2-0 win against Leicester City at the weekend and Monk will be hoping for the same tonight as well.
Team news and tactical brief
Liverpool come into this match after a 0-0 draw with Hull City on Saturday. Brendan Rodgers’ side were again out of sorts but at least their much maligned defence managed to register a clean sheet for only the second time in 13 games this season. It remains to be seen whether Mario Balotelli retains his place in the starting line-up as Reds assistant manager Colin Pascoe confirmed several changes will be made for this tie.
Liverpool have no new injury concerns at this moment with striker Daniel Sturridge and John Flanagan long term absentees while French international Mamadou Sakho is out for further seven days after a calf injury. There could be another start for Rickie Lambert, who played in the previous round victory over Middlesbrough as well as further chances for teenagers Jordan Rossiter and Jordan Williams, both of whom got game time in the third round game. Summer signing Lazar Markovic and veteran defender Kolo Toure are likely to get a run out as well. Markovic has failed to shine so far since his move from Benfica this summer and Liverpool fans will be hoping that this will be the game where he gets his acts together. Lucas Leiva will get a rare start in midfield while Australian-born left back Brad Smith is likely to get his first start tonight.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-3-3): Mignolet(GK); Johnson, Toure, Lovren, Smith; Lucas, Can, Allen; Markovic, Lambert, Coutinho
Gary Monk is expected to field a strong Swansea side as he prepares to renew acquaintances with his former manager Brendan Rodgers. Gerhard Tremmel started Swansea’s last two games in the Carling Cup this season and is likely to replace Lukasz Fabianski in goal but Monk will be keep the changes to a minimum as his side look to repeat their victory at the same stage of the competition two years ago.
This is Swansea’s second successive tie against a Mersyside club after knocking out Liverpool’s local rivals Everton in the last round. They go into the game with striker Wilfred Bony in hot form with four goals in three games. Jonjo Shelvey is likely to come up against his former club, who are managed by ex-Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers. Swans talisman Gylfi Sigurdsson will miss the game after limping off the park in the second half of their 2-0 win against Leicester City on Saturday. Wayne Routledge is also likely to be rested after his heavy workload so far this term.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Tremmel(GK); Rangel, Williams, Fernandez, Taylor; Shelvey, Ki; Dyer, Carroll, Montero; Gomis
Player to Watch Out For
Lazar Markovic (Liverpool)
Lazar Markovic has failed to hit the ground running after his £20m move from Benfica this summer and was an unused sub in three of Liverpool’s last four games. Markovic is barely a year older than Raheem Sterling but has been criticized for his recent performances. The Serbian international has admittedly started slowly and needs to improve drastically to make a significant impact but his style of play seems to be suited for Liverpool. He is quick, direct, possesses a confident touch, darts into channels well and is a skillful player. Confidence was never an issue for him but maybe the pressure of the Premier League is having an impact as he looks a bit hesitant in the final third. However, both his manager and assistant coach believes that it is only a matter of time before Markovic shows his true colors. Good things come to those who wait and Lazar Markovic is certainly one of them.
Liverpool 3–2 Swansea City(AET)
The last three matches in all competitions between these sides have produced 16 goals and everything points to a goal-fest tonight as well. Liverpool are behind Swansea on goal difference alone in the Premier League while the Swans registered their first win after 5 games. Home advantage will be the deciding factor tonight as Swansea have won only two of their 19 trips to Anfield in all competitions and Liverpool are expected to win this encounter by the odd goal.
Match Facts (courtesy Opta):
Brendan Rodgers won three of his five matches in the League Cup as Swansea manager (60%); he has won just two of five for Liverpool so far (40%).
Swansea have only won two of their 19 trips to Anfield in all competitions (D3 L14), but the most recent win was at this stage of the League Cup in October 2012 (the year they went on to win the competition).
Liverpool’s third round victory over Middlesbrough featured the highest scoring penalty shootout in League Cup history (14-13); Raheem Sterling was the only player to miss for the Reds.
The Reds have not beaten a Premier League side in the League Cup at Anfield since October 2006 (4-3 v Reading).
Swansea have only made it past the fourth round of this competition once in their history, but that was when they lifted the trophy in 2012/13.
The Swans are unbeaten in four League Cup games against fellow Premier League sides (W3 D1).
This is the 35th meeting between the sides. Liverpool have won 17 times, Swansea nine and there have been eight draws.
Blast From the Past
Last time these two sides met in the Carling Cup was at the same stage in 2012-13 season when Swansea stunned Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield before going on to lift the trophy.