Liverpool have started their Premier League campaign in impressive fashion, registering successive 1-0 wins against Stoke City and Aston Villa respectively, leaving them with six points from a possible six. The 18-time English champions head into the domestic cup competitions on Tuesday evening as they meet League One side Notts County at Anfield.
The away side have experienced quite the contrast in their start to the 2013-14 season in the third tier of English football, taking just one point from their opening four games. New manager Chris Kiwomya, a former Arsenal and Ipwich Town striker taking his first forays into management in the Football League, did however lead his side to success in their first round League Cup tie, the Magpies beating Fleetwood Town 3-2 at Meadow Lane.
However, a trip to Anfield presents Kiwomya and County with (most likely) the sternest test they can expect to face this season, even though Liverpool are expected to make a number of changes to their starting lineup. Nonetheless, the eight-time League Cup winners will be expected to comfortably make it into the hat for round three.
When: Tuesday Aug.27 at 19:45 p.m. BST (14:45 p.m. ET)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Watch: Sky Sports, Al Jazeera Sports.
Liverpool Player to Watch: Raheem Sterling
The young winger made quite the impact upon his breakthrough into the Reds first team at the start of 2012-13, but he has found himself mostly on the fringes of Brendan Rodgers' first XI since arrivals in January and this past summer. Therefore, with a number of changes expected, Sterling will be looking to impress, and his mixture of pace, movement and trickery could cause the away side a world of problems.
Notts County Player to Watch: Callum McGregor
The 20-year-old wide man is currently on loan at County from Scottish champions Celtic, and despite his new clubs travails in League One, McGregor has been a consistent bright spark in his three starts thus far. Quick and direct, the young Scot has shown his creative side since his arrival in the East Midlands, while his eye for goal—he scored in the 3-2 win over Fleetwood in the last round—means that Liverpool will have to be particularly wary of him.
On paper it really isn't even a contest. However, County have been better than their results suggest—a 4-2 home defeat by Peterborough aside—while Rodgers' rotated Liverpool XI could see the Reds field a number of homegrown youngsters in their quest for greater experience.
Nonetheless, it will still be a Liverpool side packed full of quality. The likes of Joe Allen, Fabio Borini, Andre Wisdom and Luis Alberto are all expected starters and will be looking to impress, while Rodgers will no doubt be looking for his side, no matter the XI, to make progress into the third round. Therefore, it would be foolish to expect any other result than a home win.
Liverpool 3-1 Notts County