Liverpool take on Exeter tonight in the second round of the Carling Cup. For the first time in a while, I am actually looking forward to the Carling Cup as we have no European Football this season so every competition we enter is important as it gives us a chance of winning silverware. Hopefully we will not have a bad result like last season when we went down to Northampton.
Kenny Dalglish has said, “We had a bad result last year against Northampton at home, and we’ll do our best to avoid another bad result. We want to do the very best we can in this competition and although there will be some changes in the personnel we put out, the attitude should be exactly the same as it was on Saturday at the Emirates.
“We’ll give people an opportunity to play. The training has been superb, as has their attitude and commitment, so they deserve a game.
“But it’s not a game we just want to go through the motions for and fulfil our obligations in playing the fixture – we want to make sure we have a chance. We’re not getting them (other players) involved because we’re undermining the competition or we’re undermining the football club at Exeter.”
It is clear Kenny is going to ring the changes tonight and we will be seeing a new look team but I am sure it will still be a strong lineup. I see Doni starting in goal ahead of Pepe. The backline will have some changes, my guess is Flanagan at right-back with Aurelio at left-back. In order for us to still remain solid in defence, I see Carragher partnering Skrtel at the back.
In midfield we have many options to pick from and I see Kenny giving the likes of Henderson, Lucas, Adam and Downing a rest tonight. That could see the likes of Joe Cole, Aquilani, Spearing and Poulsen getting a run.
Upfront, I doubt we will see either Carroll or Suarez start, which just goes to show how little options we have upfront, thus the need for us to bring in a new back-up striker. Kuyt may come in and play upfront with Meireles just behind him.
So Tony’s prediction for the lineup tonight is: Doni, Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Joe Cole, Poulsen, Spearing, Aquilani, Meireles, Kuyt. We should have a strong bench just in case things go wrong and I hope Suarez, Downing and Carroll are on the bench.