Kenny Dalglish will get his first real up close look at the strength in dept of the Liverpool squad when his new look side face Exeter in the 2nd round of the Carling cup.
While the clash at St James Park is not the type of midweek game that Liverpool are used to at this stage of the season, the Carling represents a chance for the Anfield club to end their recent trophy drought not to mention give some players an early season run out.
Much has been made of the new found player pool at the Scots disposal and a it was a new found sign of the confidence that surrounds the club that Dalglish, already missing the services of his talisman Steven Gerrard, chose the Emirates to give Luis Suarez an early season rest.
In the aftermath of that game, which Liverpool won thanks to the impact of Suarez and another substitute Raul Meireles, Jaime Carragher spoke of his delight at the impact of the bench and with Dalglish confirming that he will play some of his fringe players in Wednesday game fans will be interested to see who starts.
With Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard the only players unavailable to the Reds boss the likes of Christian Doni, Christian Poulsen, Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing, Maxi Rodriguez and Joe Cole look set to start at St James’ Park.
Dalglish who has also acknowledged that he would be taking the competition seriously will be keen to avoid a repeat of last season’s exit, when a then Roy Hodgson managed Liverpool lost to league two side Northampton Town.
Paul Tisdale’s side will not be a push over especially on their own turf and many will remember that they drew with Manchester United 0-0 at home in their last taste of the big time in the 2005 FA cup, before losing 2-0 away.
However like Liverpool they are not used to be involved in the competition at this stage, with Wednesday’s clash their first 2nd round tie since 1993.
Exeter has yet to win in the league this season with their only league point coming in the opening day when they drew away to Stevenage, and they’ve lost three straight since. Their only win this season came in the first round game with Yeovil, Guillem Bauza and Chris Shepard scoring in a 2-0 win.
Tisdale is expected to name the strongest side available to him for the game with Daniel Nardiello and Guillem Bauza expected to partner each other in attack after starting Saturday’s loss against Preston
Midfielder Liam Sercombe and striker Richard Logan are injury concerns however definitely out is former Cork City striker John O’Flynn and defender Steve Tully, who is suspended.
The game, which is a sell out and will also be shown live on Sky, should help boost the Exeter coffers
Liverpool (from): Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Enrique, Adam, Lucas, Kuyt, Suarez, Downing, Carroll, Doni, Flanagan, Skrtel, Henderson, Meireles, Spearing, Ngog, Robinson, Aurelio, Rodriguez, Cole, Wilson, Poulsen, Shelvey, Sterling, Coady, Eccleston, Wisdom.