The League Cup is here and the competition represents a chance for top clubs to test their fringe players. We look at the three players that Liverpool FC should give a chance.
Liverpool FC host Carlisle in the League Cup tie at Anfield with all the weight of the world of manager Brendan Rodgers to not only win the game but put in a performance that lifts the gloom and doom surrounding Anfield.
However, playing against an inferior opposition at home should allow the manager to give a chance to some of the players who have clocked less time on the pitch until now, in order to boost their confidence and prove their worth.
We look at three players who must start the game for one of the above reasons.
1 – Roberto Firmino
Firmino signed for Liverpool FC amid much fanfare from Hoffenheim in a deal worth a total of 29m GBP. But, the player is clearly still adapting to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.
The Brazil star had been highly impressive for Hoffenheim over the last two years in terms of his goal-scoring record and Liverpool can benefit with a goalscorer or two, right now, with reports stating that Benteke might be out for sometime having been hamstrung.
Firmino’s involvement in the Copa America also meant that he was quite a few days behind the other players in terms of fitness. The Carlise game presents a good opportunity for him to boost his fitness and confidence – something that a player requires, when moving into a new club in a different league.
2 – Jordan Ibe
Much was expected from Ibe, following his scintillating performances in the second half of the 14-15 season. The English winger had wrecked havoc against opposition defences with his pace and direct approach.
Ibe was one of the few shining lights along side Philippe Coutinho for the Reds last season and hence, the disappointment of his form this season is so great.
Ibe seems to have put himself under too much pressure by repeatedly giving statements to the media – expressing his willingness to score more goals for the Reds even before the season began. Having cancelled his holiday for extra training with Kenny Dalglish, to get more goals, Ibe’s performance just kept on dipping the more minutes he went on without one. He was eventually dropped, probably leading to a lower morale. But, he needs to show that he has the stomach to fight, having turned a tepid display in the Europa League against Lille.
It looked like the Red shirt weighed the world on his body, as Ibe struggled to get past players having done so with ease all his life, probably.
He needs a goal, or at least a performance that will lift his confidence. Carlisle represents a good opportunity to do so. Now, only if Ibe is as motivated to take the opportunity.
3 – Jordan Rossiter
Liverpool have an impeccable strength and depth in the central midfield, with players like Milner, Henderson, Can, Lucas, Allen competing for two positions. However, the injury to Jordan Henderson means there might be a space for one more, as it was in the Arsenal game when Rossiter came on.
Having put in an assured display for 80 minutes in the Europa League tie against Lille in France, Rossiter deserves more chances for the Liverpool FC first team. The 18-year old midfielder was neat in his distribution and very calm for someone so young.
Exposures to more first team football will only further the development of the only Scouser besides Jon Flannagan in the Liverpool first team and Carlisle is an ideal game to give him more time on the pitch.