Liverpool to be encouraged by third round performance
Liverpool avenged their opening-day defeat at the Hawthorns by knocking West Brom out of the Capital One Cup, despite manager Brendan Rodgers making 11 changes to the side that started the previous game.
They’re now joint-fourth favourites to win the cup at 8/1 and, following a favourable draw for the fourth round, their fans can reasonably expect to be in the hat for the quarter-finals.
Winning the competition would make them just the second side to retain the trophy since 1990 and a good cup run would do Rodgers no harm after the Reds dismal start in the Premier League.
With Man United set to face Chelsea in the next round, one of the competition’s joint-favourites will be eliminated and with Arsenal and Spurs drawn away against Premier League opposition, Liverpool could find a path to Wembley a lot easier than their price suggests.
Standing in their way at the minute are Rodgers’ former club Swansea, but the Northern Irishman’s record against former employers offers promise to the Anfield club’s chances.
In his three clashes with Reading when in charge of Swansea he won all three, whilst winning and drawing against Watford, who gave him his first opportunity to take the managerial reins.
The Swans had Liverpool’s number last season under Rodgers, taking four points off them without conceding a goal. It’ll be up to Michael Laudrup to concoct an effective game plan this time around but, with Rodgers’ track record against old teams, Liverpool should be confident of getting the better of the Welsh club in round four.
A home draw will be a welcome relief for the Reds who played all but one game on the road last season on their way to winning the Capital One Cup. The performance of on-loan Turkish international Nuri Sahin in the West Brom win was also a rare positive in what’s been an awful season to date.
The Real Madrid loanee netted both his sides’ goals, showing Liverpool fans what a threat he can be. If he can perform to these levels in the fourth round and beyond, his side have it in them to compete with the second string sides the big guns are likely to field in this competition, greatly improving their chances to lift the trophy again.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date