Liverpool vs Arsenal has always been a fun, explosive fixture between two of the most historic sides in England. That being said, the fixture has been slightly one-sided in recent years, especially at Anfield. Arsenal have not managed to grab a win at Anfield since 2012 when Brendan Rodgers and Arsène Wenger were in charge of the respective clubs. Times have long changed since Lukas Podolski, and Santi Cazorla celebrated goals at the Kop end, and Arsenal were coming to Anfield for the EFL Cup fixture with a massive task on their hands. What occurred after was a match filled with a ton of mayhem, drama, and defensive errors. The thrilling match ended 5-5 with Liverpool winning 5-4 on penalties.
Both managers strayed from their usual starting XI’s for this match, likely because the EFL Cup is often seen as the last of importance in clubs competing in Europe. Because of this, it isn’t a surprise that both managers combined youth and experience in their lineups.
Klopp went with his tried and trusted 4-3-3, but with Caoimhin Kelleher, Liverpool’s 20-year-old Irish keeper in net. The back four consisted of first-team players James Milner and Joe Gomez in the left-back and centre-back position, respectively. Neco Williams occupied the left-back position, and Sepp van den Berg partnered Gomez as Liverpool’s other centre-back. The starting midfield three consisted of Naby Keita, Adam Lallana, and former Gunner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Cult hero, Divock Origi along with highly-rated youngster Rhian Brewster, and the youngest player to play for Liverpool at Anfield, Harvey Elliott made up Liverpool’s front line.
Emery set up in a 4-4-1-1, changing it up entirely from the 4-4-2 he used against Arsenal’s draw against Crystal Palace, after being 2-0 ahead. Ahead of Emiliano Martínez in goal, the Gunners’ back four consisted of captain Héctor Bellerín, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, and Sead Kolašinac.
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