Liverpool play 3 home matches in the space of 6 days with the visit of Swansea City in the League Cup 4th round tie on Tuesday night.
After a difficult period of results for Liverpool, an extended cup run is needed to relieve the pressure on Brendan Rodgers and his players. When you are in that difficult run of form though things never seem to go your way and the draw of in-form Southampton is not something Rodgers will be excited about. With a match against Newcastle on Saturday afternoon and an away trip to Real Madrid next week, it is unknown the strength of the team Rodgers will put out. While the League Cup isn’t always a favourite with fans as other priorities are seen in Europe and the league, the need to turn around their form is important to kick start their season. If you are interested in watching the Reds this season in any competition you should visit www.1st4footballtickets.com.
The first full season with Garry Monk as Swansea boss, the Welsh club have started better than most expected them to and have 14 points in 9 games finding themselves in 6th place. Having won the League Cup two seasons ago, Garry Monk played a part in the achievement as a player and will likely want a similar experience as manager. Victories over Rotherham and Everton in the two previous rounds saw their passage to the 4th round, while the 2-0 victory over Leicester City ended a run of 5 league matches without a win.
With Liverpool trying to find a system to excel in after the departure of Suarez and the injury to Sturridge has seen Coutinho start the last two matches from the bench.
Scoring an impressive goal the other week against QPR, the Brazilian international also presented his passing range with a perfectly weighted through-ball for Sterling that resulted in the winning (own) goal in the same match. The technique that Coutinho possesses played a part in both of these match winning moments, and the close control of the ball has seen him dribble past opponents on 21 occasions.
Overall in all competitions, Coutinho has created an average of 1.9 chances a match – although he has yet to register an assist this season. There’s a good chance that will change on Tuesday night though.
Long touted as worthy for a England call up, Nathan Dyer has continued his consistent form for Swansea since they were promoted to the Premier League 3 years ago.
Dyer has 4 goals to his name this season – one coming in the previous round against Everton – and the good start to the season has been in part to the return of Sigurdsson to Swansea who takes advantage of Dyer’s ability to break past the full back and find space behind the opposition defensive line.
Due to this, Dyer is yet to find his creative boots himself this season with only 3 chances created, but the vulnerable state Liverpool’s defence has looked this campaign the wingers ability to get to the byline and find a pass – Dyer has a pass accuracy of 89% – could have a devastating effect on the match.
Liverpool have scored an average of 1.4 goals per game compared to 2.7 per game they managed last season.
Swansea faced Liverpool on the way to winning the League Cup two seasons ago with the Welsh club winning 3-1 – Garry Monk played 32 minutes in this match.
After a slow start to the season – a probable World Cup hangover – Wilfred Bony has netted 4 times in 3 matches.
Liverpool have no new injury concerns, but Sturridge and Flanagan long term absentees while Sakho is out for a further week.
Picking up an injury in the weekend’s match, Sigurdsson is likely to miss the match either through injury – the extent has not be made known – or resting. Other injury concerns are defenders Richards, Tiendalli, and Amat who could return by the weekend.
Liverpool’s struggle in front of goal could continue for a further match, while Swansea’s only away win of the season came against Manchester United on the opening day of the season. With the teams hard to predict, the result is too. With this in mind looking purely at the form of both sides there could be another night of extra time at Anfield.