Having seen their Premier League title challenge suffer a setback on Sunday, Liverpool must now quickly refocus on another potential route to silverware when Leicester come to town in midweek.
The dust has barely settled on the eventful 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, a result which ended Liverpool’s eight-match winning streak across all competitions and saw them fall three points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
In truth, Jurgen Klopp may have been content with the result given that Spurs created a string of clear chances and that Liverpool ended the game with 10 men, but the German was far from happy about a number of other matters.
Klopp vented his fury at referee Paul Tierney following a number of questionable calls, and also insisted that it would be “impossible” for his side to fulfil a festive fixture schedule which sees them play eight times in December while trying to contend with depleting numbers due to coronavirus.
Four players have already tested positive from Liverpool and, while they have not yet crossed the threshold to qualify for a match to be postponed, coupled with their growing injury list it did leave Klopp warning that he may have enough players to play in one game, but that he does not have enough to play four games in 10 days.
Liverpool and Chelsea are the only teams to have played all of their scheduled Premier League games as well as playing in Europe and reaching the EFL Cup quarter-finals, so understandably neither would have been too pleased by the news that the Premier League and EFL have both decided to press ahead with the fixture schedule as planned.
As a result, there may be echoes of Klopp’s decision to field his youngsters the last time they reached the quarter-finals of this competition in 2019-20, when the senior team’s involvement in the Club World Cup saw Liverpool field the Under-23s side in the EFL Cup, a game which they proceeded to lose 5-0 to Aston Villa.
The Reds have not reached the semi-finals of the League Cup since 2016-17 and have not lifted the trophy for a decade, yet they remain the joint-most successful club in the competition’s history.
Video Links Stream 1 Stream 2 HDStream 3 Stream 4
Away victories over Norwich City and Preston North End by an aggregate score of 5-0 have taken them to the last eight this time around, but at home they are enduring their longest ever winless run in the competition of four games, excluding penalty shootouts.
The bad news for Leicester is that Liverpool have been imperious at Anfield in every other competition this season, winning nine and losing none of their 12 home outings. Indeed, you have to go back to March for Liverpool’s last home defeat.
That would be daunting for any club, but Leicester have not won at Anfield on any of their last 10 visits in all competitions, a run which includes eight defeats and stretches back to 2000