MatchLiverpool v Leicester City: Team news
Trent Alexander-Arnold has returned to training ahead of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup third-round tie with Leicester City at Anfield on Wednesday night.
A hamstring injury sustained in the win over Aston Villa at the start of September prevented the vice-captain from playing in the Reds’ last three matches, but Pepijn Lijnders has confirmed that he took part in team training on Monday.
The assistant manager told Liverpoolfc.com on Tuesday: “Trent trained yesterday with us but it was just in the rondo and the ball possession with the counter-pressing, but he was outstanding. You see him instantly, of course.
“He is with the team training. I am not sure if he will be ready [for Leicester], we will see today.”
Lijnders also provided an update on the condition of Thiago Alcantara, who has not featured so far this season due to injury.
The Dutchman said: “He is in a good way, the healing process is going well so that’s the most important [thing] at this moment.”
Jürgen Klopp traditionally rotates his squad in the Carabao Cup and Lijnders confirmed: “Of course we will make changes but we want to put our game into place, we want to be dominant, we want to be in their half of the pitch.”
He continued: “I think always we proved already that we are using the squad and that’s something in this season that is really important to feel and to understand: this group of players, when they are all healthy, when they are all hungry, when they feel that they all at each moment can be used, they all find a certain development on their own, they are becoming better [no matter] how old they are.
“If we create these three or four things in the squad you know that success comes much closer, so we really search for that and we play every two or three days at the moment so we need to use freshness, we need to use hunger, we need to use the boys who really want to show, as we always did. But we are not just here about giving debuts, we are here to develop.
“So, take Ben Doak, or Stefan [Bajcetic]… what I am trying to say is that we are really focused as well to develop these boys and they need games. They need proper games.”
Caoimhin Kelleher has been Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper in this competition in recent seasons.
On the Republic of Ireland international, Lijnders stated: “I think the best signing of the season is Caoimhin, that he stayed with us. For me he is a world-class goalie and he needs games and he will get games.
“And I think Ali is massive in this, in how Caoimhin developed, and he deserves a big, big compliment in terms of Caoimhin’s development. Alisson was massive in this. Yeah, you have a world-class goalie who can play in each Premier League team, in my opinion.”
Leicester boss Enzo Maresca, meanwhile, intends to rotate at Anfield due to the Championship leaders’ busy schedule.
“For sure, we’re going to make changes, no doubt,” he told the media on Tuesday.
“We will continue to use other players because they deserve it. We cannot play every game with the same XI. Players need to refresh and rest for Sunday’s game against Blackburn.”
Callum Doyle will be missing for the visitors, with Maresca stating that the England U21 international defender will be sidelined for a ‘long time’ with an injury sustained during Leicester’s 1-0 win over Bristol City last weekend.
On how he will look to replace Doyle, Maresca said: “We have almost double players for each position. The only position we have just one is Callum as he’s a left-footed player. We’re going to find a solution and adapt.
“[James] Justin played already twice in the cup and against Southampton, making three at the back, but on the right side because he’s right-footed. He was good against Bristol City too.”
Conor Coady is another defensive option for the Foxes as he nears fitness following a foot problem.
“After eight or nine weeks out, you need to come back step by step, slowly,” Maresca noted on Coady. “Tomorrow could be the right game for him.”
Liverpool 3-1 West Ham United (September 24): Alisson, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Mac Allister, Jones, Szoboszlai, Diaz, Salah, Nunez.
Leicester City 1-0 Bristol City (September 23): Hermansen, Pereira, Faes, Vestergaard, Doyle, Ndidi, Winks, Dewsbury-Hall, Fatawu, Mavididi, Vardy.