The Lowdown: Liverpool in action
Following their 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League over the weekend, the Merseyside club begin their defence of the Carabao Cup as they welcome League One side Derby to Anfield for their third round clash.
This is Liverpool’s penultimate match before the World Cup break, which will commence following this weekend’s round of league fixtures, including the Reds’ home game against Southampton.
Looking ahead to this match, it appears that one rarely-seen figure in Liverpool’s squad is set to be in the starting XI to take on the Rams.
The Latest: Kelleher to start against Derby
Speaking to the media ahead of tonight’s game, Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders was asked if Kelleher will start against Derby.
He replied: “Yeah, Caoimh deserves it. If you shoot the last penalty in [in the final], it would be a disgrace if we took him out now!
“I think, honestly, one of my proudest moments in football was after the game when we won this cup.
“Caoimh, if you see a talent grow and you see talents turn into men and if you see men with personality and braveness and you go into a final and he takes the last penalty… and after the game we have this moment together, it means a lot.
“So, if nothing happens today he will start for us.”
The Verdict: Time to shine
Despite not making an appearance for Jurgen Klopp’s side so far this season, everyone at the club will know what the 23-year-old is capable of as he played in four of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup games last season, including the final.
As Lijnders referenced, Kelleher had the honour of scoring the decisive penalty at Wembley that day as the Reds prevailed against Chelsea after a marathon shoot-out.
Across those four games, the Irishman faced 17 shots on target and made 15 saves in total, highlighting how capable shot-stopper he is when called upon.
Taking this into account, it’s easy to see why the Reds have seemingly decided to put Kelleher in the starting XI for tonight’s clash against the League One side.
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