Opinion: Is a Carabao Cup run much of a priority for Liverpool this season?

Opinion: Is a Carabao Cup run much of a priority for Liverpool this season?

There is always the debate as to whether the EFL Cup is beneficial to some of the so-called ‘big teams’ in the Premier League, with the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola voicing their concerns over the busy scheduling of fixtures in previous years.

At times, we’ve seen some key players featuring in the competition, which has been somewhat of a risk for managers who would have preferred to originally rest their star men ahead of the league campaign. 

Liverpool endured a frustrating Premier League campaign last term as they finished fifth in the top-flight table, which means that they’re not playing Champions League football this term. That will be of obvious frustration to the Anfield faithful, who have seen some memorable nights in that tournament over the years. 

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However, with their participation in this year’s Europa League already underway, the schedule still looks a packed one for Klopp’s side. It’ll be interesting to see how he manages certain players in his first-team squad heading towards the festive period, which can be an unforgiving period of time, with injuries a regularity. 

Participation in the Premier League and Europe aren’t the only commitments that some managers have to deal with though, as Liverpool are still competing in the 2023/24 EFL Cup. It could prove to be another distraction ahead of their league campaign, which holds more importance to both supporters and Klopp.

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The Reds won the 2021/22 EFL Cup with a dramatic triumph on penalties against Chelsea at Wembley, but were knocked out of the competition by Manchester City last term after a narrow 3-2 defeat against Guardiola’s side. With a Champions League campaign to prioritise in that season, though, Liverpool supporters won’t have been too disheartened to have exited the competition at the fourth round stage. 

With Liverpool’s focus being set on finishing in the top four this term to reclaim their place back in the Champions League, it wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to see Klopp resting some key players in their EFL Cup campaign.

With the sometimes season-defining festive period gradually edging closer, you have to question whether it’s worth the manager naming a squad which features the likes of Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk, key players without whom Liverpool would likely struggle for a significant period of time. 

Of course, if the Reds were to reach the latter stages of, or even win, the EFL Cup, that would be a real fillip for the club’s supporters and the players who feature during the campaign in terms of boosting morale for all involved.

Liverpool have some promising youngsters coming through their academy, and the tournament presents the ideal opportunity for them to be involved in the first-team squad and gain valuable experience in senior football. The likes of Ben Doak and Jarell Quansah are just some of the younger players who have already been involved in the senior setup this season. 

If you’re a betting person, then you’ll get odds of 3/1 on Sky Bet for Liverpool to win the 2023/24 EFL Cup. Below, it’s been revealed by bonuscodebets.co.uk the odds on Sky Bet for the rest of the expected contenders for this year’s EFL Cup. 

  • Arsenal @ 7/2
  • Manchester United @ 4/1
  • Chelsea @ 5/1
  • Newcastle United @ 5/1
  • West Ham United @ 14/1

Odds displayed are correct as of 4:30 pm, Thursday 28th September 2023. Odds are subject to change. 

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