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Elliott and Brewster debut in League Cup

Jurgen Klopp has given three Liverpool youngsters their senior debut tonight as a mix of youth and experience takes on MK Dons in the League Cup third round.

The Reds headed to Milton Keynes with a significantly changed squad, as Klopp left the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on Merseyside.

Instead, a host of academy hopefuls were drafted in, with an away tie against League One opposition the perfect opportunity to rotate.

It has given three their chance to debut, with another six on the substitutes’ bench waiting for their Liverpool bow.

Caoimhin Kelleher is among those to make his first outing, with the 20-year-old Irishman filling in for Adrian between the sticks.

Ahead of Kelleher in defence are Ki-Jana Hoever, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and James Milner.

Adam Lallana is expected to take up duties as deep-lying midfielder, to be joined by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita in the middle of the park.

And in the absence of Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane in attack, Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Rhian Brewster start up front.

Andy Lonergan, Sepp van den Berg, Adam Lewis, Herbie Kane, Pedro Chirivella, Leighton Clarkson and Luis Longstaff are on the bench.

Speaking ahead of the third-round clash, Klopp’s assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders described cup competitions as the “soul of football.”

“We will put a team in place which, for me, is a Premier League team,” he told reporters.

“And the players feel this responsibility as well, because we are up to this. A highly motivated team plays against us.

“They really look forward to it, I really look forward to it, it’s just another opportunity to put our identity in place, to show our passion.

“We prepare the game in the same way as we prepare Chelsea, with the same accents, probably even more detail, but with the same hunger to win it.”

Liverpool: Kelleher; Hoever, Gomez, Lovren, Milner; Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita; Elliott, Jones, Brewster

Substitutes: Lonergan, Van den Berg, Lewis, Kane, Chirivella, Clarkson, Longstaff


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