Home » EPL, Featured, Latest, League Cup » League Cup SF 2nd leg Preview: Liverpool vs Stoke

lallana-liverpool-celebrationJon Flanagan could return to Liverpool’s starting line-up for their Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at home to Stoke.

The 23-year-old is expected to replace Nathaniel Clyne, who did not train with the first team on Monday after sustaining a knee injury during his side’s 5-4 Premier League win against Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp claimed he is reluctant to use Flanagan after such a lengthy lay-off, but admits he may have no other option.

Klopp said: “We have to see what will happen overnight and make a decision but it’s not too easy because we have only Flanno [Flanagan].

“We all love Flanno but he had a long time (out injured) and 90 minutes or more is maybe not the best thing. But if there’s an opportunity, we would like to try it.”

Stoke will also have to make a defensive reshuffle, with Ryan Shawcross out for up to a month after suffering a back injury during their 3-0 defeat at Leicester City on Saturday.

Team news

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is close to full fitness after a three-week absence, but is unlikely to start with Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure set to form the centre-back partnership.

Martin Skrtel, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho (all hamstring) are sidelined.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes could be able to call on Marko Arnautovic after revealing the forward had suffered “just a little bit of tightness” to his hamstring which kept him out of Stoke’s defeat at Leicester, although midfielder Geoff Cameron (ankle) remains sidelined.

Opta stats

Stoke have never beaten Liverpool in six attempts in the League Cup, drawing one and losing five.

Jordon Ibe has scored twice and assisted another goal in his last two League Cup games.

Of the teams remaining in the competition, Stoke have scored the fewest goals in this season’s League Cup (five).

The Reds have never lost a League Cup semi-final leg at Anfield, though the last two have been draws (W8 D7).

Stoke have not won at Anfield in any competition since March 1959, going 36 visits without a victory (D5 L31).

Stoke have progressed from both of their semi-finals in the League Cup, reaching the final in the 1963-64 and 1971-72 campaigns.

Roberto Firmino has scored four goals in three games after just one goal in his previous 24 in all competitions.

Liverpool have scored as many goals in their last two games as they had in their previous eight matches in all competitions (eight).

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