Preview: Liverpool FC v Swansea City, Capital One Cup 4th Round, 31st Oct, 20.00

Posted by ashleyrose-66 on October 25, 2012, 03:55:34 PM

Liverpool continue their defence of the League Cup at Anfield against Brendan Rodgers’ former side Swansea City on Wednesday.

      
 
The fixture pits the Liverpool boss against his former employers for the first time since he moved from the Liberty Stadium to Merseyside in the summer.  Since his departure, Swansea have recruited Danish legend Michael Laudrup to manage the Welsh outfit, and he got off to a dream start to his managerial career in England (or Wales!) with a comprehensive 5-0 thrashing of QPR at Loftus Road on the opening day of the season. 
City take their place in the 4th Round after seeing off a spirited Crawley Town side in their previous League Cup outing.

Swansea were busy in the summer transfer market, adding Michu, Pablo Hernandez, Chico Flores and a few others to the playing staff, with the former proving an instant hit, already scoring half-a-dozen league goals.
Swansea did, however, lose several key players in the summer with Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair heading for the exit and Gylfi Sigurdsson and Steven Caulker’s loan spells with the club coming to an end.

For Liverpool, a home tie in the League Cup is a bit of a rarity.  Despite last season’s success in the competition, the Reds were drawn away in every round, only playing at Anfield by default in the second leg of the semi-final against Manchester City.
The last time Liverpool were drawn as the home team in this competition was against Northampton Town in September 2010.  The less said about that, the better!
Rodgers’ men overcame West Brom (unsurprisingly away at The Hawthorns) in the last round with Nuri Sahin scoring a brace for the holders. 
16 year-old Jerome Sinclair came off the bench to become Liverpool’s youngest ever first team player.

Since becoming the first Welsh side to achieve promotion to the Premiership last year, Swansea and Liverpool have squared up twice.  Culminating in a 0-0 draw at Anfield last November and a 1-0 win for Swansea on the final day of the 2011/12 season.

At Anfield last season, Liverpool will feel that they dominated most games and didn’t get the just reward for all their possession and play, but this wasn’t the case against a Swansea side that caused Liverpool problems with their pace and movement. 


Andy Carroll challenges Ashley Williams at Anfield in November 2011

The Swans also had the greater share of possession with 55% - not many teams come to Anfield and have more of the ball than Liverpool, regardless of the final outcome on the day. 
Andy Carroll added to Liverpool’s growing statistic of hitting the woodwork when he headed a Stuart Downing cross on to the bar in the 7th minute.  However, Swansea also had chances to break the deadlock, notably with Mark Gower squandering a great late chance.
But for a wonder save by goalkeeper Michel Vorm, Liverpool could have stolen all 3 points when he tipped over a Glen Johnson effort at the death, but in fairness it would have been harsh on Swansea. 
The result was the 3rd league home draw in-a-row for the hosts.

In May, the sides met for what would ultimately be Brendan Rodgers and Kenny Dalglish’s last games in charge of their respective clubs.
A week after FA Cup Final heartbreak against Chelsea, and a game with nothing but pride to play for, Liverpool didn’t look at the races as Swansea closed out an impressive debut Premiership season with a 14th clean sheet. 
A game that lacked any real quality was settled when Danny Graham rammed in from close range 4 minutes from time when it appeared both teams had settled for a share of the spoils and compounded a difficult league season for the Reds. 

Liverpool come in to the game off the back of a frantic Merseyside derby draw with neighbours Everton, ensuring the Reds have lost just once in their last 6 games in all competitions (against Udinese in the Europa League).  Swansea's form has dipped since making a positive start to the season, and they face a tough home league tie against Chelsea on Saturday.

It’s difficult to pre-empt what sort of line-up both sides will go with as both clubs made wholesale changes to their starting XI’s in the previous round, but Brendan Rodgers will be reluctant to release Liverpool’s grip on the famous three-handled trophy his club have won a record 8 times - no matter how ridiculous the latest sponsorship deal makes it sound. 
The game falls on Halloween, so let’s hope Swansea City don’t get Liverpool by the Ghoulies!

Team news:  Lucas Leiva, Martin Kelly and Fabio Borini are long-term absentees, whilst Pepe Reina could come back in to the side after finding himself on the bench against Everton.

Swansea City lost goalkeeper Michel Vorm to injury in the defeat against Manchester City that looks set to see him sidelined for 6 weeks.

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