Liverpool To Face Preston In Round 4 of Carabao Cup

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 1: Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League match between Liverpool v Ajax at the Anfield on December 1, 2020 in Liverpool United Kingdom (Photo by Richard Sellers/Soccrates/Getty Images)

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Liverpool have been drawn to face Preston North End in the fourth round of the 2021/22 Carabao Cup at Deepdale.

It is only the fifth time in the last 18 domestic cup ties that Liverpool have been drawn against a side outside of the Premier League.

The tie will be the first meeting between the sides in 12 years, which was also held at Deepdale, and only the second in 59 years – Albert Riera and Fernando Torres gave Liverpool a 2-0 win in the third round of the FA Cup.

Furthermore, this will be the first time Liverpool and Preston will meet each other in the league cup.

Liverpool began their current Carabao Cup campaign on Tuesday night with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Preston will play their fourth game of the competition this season against Liverpool after high-scoring wins against Mansfield Town, Morecambe and Cheltenham Town.

Preston and Liverpool have connections – Liverpool signed centre-half Ben Davies from the side in January while Sepp Van Den Berg is currently on loan at the Lilywhites.

Liverpool will be expected to use the clash as an excuse to rest key players and give fringe players game time.

The Redmen’s young guns caught the eye against the Canaries as the trio of Conor Bradley, Kaide Gordon and Tyler Morton seamlessly slotted into the system that Liverpool use on their debuts.

Northern Irish right-back Conor Bradley was adept at making use of the right half-space in between the midfield and the right flank.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is known for making use of this area of the pitch when providing support in attack.

Bradley’s time in the Liverpool academy and with the Northern Irish senior side showcases his ability to join the midfield and help sustain pressure on the opposition.

However, the Tyrone native gave away a penalty towards the end of the first half but Kelleher, who hails from the same island, made sure the debutant’s mistake was not costly.

Kaide Gordon, born in 2004, made his anticipated debut at Carrow Road on the right wing and linked up well with Bradley.

Gordon worked hard and did well on the wing to force his way into spaces and create goalscoring opportunities.

He was the only member of the front three that did not get himself a goal but it was not for lack of trying on the night the former Derby County player became Liverpool’s fifth youngest-ever player at 16 years and 351 days.

Liverpool leaked counter-attacks in the first half as the midfield that looked like it lacked a defensive presence on paper lacked a defensive presence.

Step up Tyler Morton for his first 45 minutes under Jurgen Klopp – Naby Keita went the other way after picking up what appeared to be a minor muscle injury.

Morton was given lots of time and space on the ball by the hosts and did well with it as he became the assured presence that calmed the eight-time league cup winners’ midfield.

The U23 star made 31 passes while only taking 39 touches and also helped in defence, filling in for those who had left a space in the back four.

Fourth round fixtures are scheduled to be played in the week commencing October 25 and fixture details will be announced soon.

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