League Cup run can hone Liverpool's squad into title contenders, says Lijnders

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League Cup run can hone Liverpool's squad into title contenders, says Lijnders

League Cup run can hone Liverpool's squad into title contenders, says Lijnders
League Cup run can hone Liverpool's squad into title contenders, says LijndersProfimedia
Liverpool are looking at the League Cup quarter-final against West Ham United as an opportunity to develop their newly-assembled squad into a team that can compete on multiple fronts, assistant manager Pep Lijnders said on Monday.

Liverpool have won the League Cup a record nine times, with their most recent win coming in the 2021/22 campaign when they also lifted the FA Cup, finished second in the Premier League and lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid.

The Anfield club has since lost key players that helped them lift silverware, starting this campaign with an entirely new midfield featuring close-season signings Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch.

"We always say the first half of the season is the base that you create," Lijnders told reporters ahead of Wednesday's match at Anfield.

"That is why I like this competition a lot because it gives some players, young players, an opportunity and at the same time, you play early finals. And everybody knows that Liverpool football club is here to play finals.

"We start the season wanting to create new memories, special games, a team that can beat the best teams in the world.

"Especially with this team, because it's a new team, you want to play finals and reaching a semi-final in January would only be helpful for the boys to grow."

Liverpool have been handed an injury boost, with Lijnders confirming that the injured trio of Gravenberch, Mac Allister and Diogo Jota were progressing well in their recovery and would soon be available for selection.

Gravenberch was forced off the pitch in Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday due to muscle fatigue.

"He can hopefully train today and we have to judge it - and he has to judge himself," Ljinders said.

"I can't see why he wouldn't be available for the next week.

"(Jota) is outside doing ball work so he is getting better and better. With hamstrings, it is always tricky and you always want to give it two or three days more because then you are sure. We will be careful with him but he is close.

"(Mac Allister's injury) will go into the new year but that could be possible - and we play January 1st so let's see."

Follow Liverpool's League Cup quarter-final on Flashscore. 

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