3 reasons Liverpool should take the Carabao Cup seriously
It could be their first trophy since 2012
The top Premier League teams enter the Carabao Cup in the third round this week. Most of them will see the competition as a chance to give squad players and promising youngsters some playing time.
But it could be more important for Liverpool this season. The Reds face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium tonight.
And here are three reasons why they should do all they can to win the trophy…
It’s been a while
Liverpool’s only piece of silverware in the last decade was the Carling Cup in 2012. That’s not good enough for a club of Liverpool’s stature.
There have been encouraging signs under Jurgen Klopp. And the fans will be delighted to be back in the Champions League. But that doesn’t compete with the joy of lifting a trophy.
The Reds are now a genuine contender for honours again. It’s time they started to win some. A triumph at Wembley would be a huge boost for everyone associated with the club.
Create a winning mentality
Liverpool were beaten in the EFL Cup and Europa League finals during Klopp’s first season at Anfield. They’ve also lost an FA Cup final since their last trophy win.
They need to win a final sooner rather than later to ensure it doesn’t become a mental hang-up.
The Carabao Cup also wraps up in February. It can give the winner a taste of success and spur them on to some end-of-season glory.
In three of the last four years, the club that won this competition went on to lift another trophy later in the campaign.
Manage the squad
Klopp’s all-action style can overwhelm teams when Liverpool are at their best. However, it’s incredibly demanding of his squad.
Liverpool players need to be able to run constantly for their gameplan to work. It’s much harder when they’re playing more than one game a week.
After 25 league games last season, Liverpool averaged 2.4 points in games that they’d had a full week to prepare for. That average dropped down to 1.67 points in games that followed a midweek fixture.
Now the club are back in the Champions League, Klopp needs to manage his squad to ensure cup competitions don’t have a negative impact on their league form.
The Carabao Cup gives him an ideal platform to figure out how to do it.
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