Both sides enter this fixture with severe disruption owing to a combination of injuries and covid. Leicester may have won 4-0 hosting Newcastle last time out, but it came at a cost with centre-backs Johnny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu picking up knocks in that clash.
Wesley Fofana was already a long-term absentee and both Jannik Vestergaard and Filip Benkovic have tested positive for covid, so Brendan Rodgers will be forced into a makeshift centre-back partnership here.
Daniel Amartey should be joined by either midfielder Wilfried Ndidi or left-back Ryan Bertrand, unless Rodgers opts to switch to a back three and use them all to make the side more compact.
That doesn’t bode well for the Foxes given they haven’t exactly excelled defensively this season. They’ve registered just two clean sheets across their past 23 matches, as aside from the recent one picked up against Newcastle, the other came against Championship side Millwall. In fact, they’ve conceded at least twice in 10 of their last 15 outings, while their past seven outings have featured a combined 29 goals.
The visitors problems don’t end there, with midfielder Hamza Choudhury and attackers Ayoze Perez, Ademola Lookman and Kelechi Iheanacho all absent, while this game should come too soon for right-back James Justin.
However, the defensive crisis will be of greater concern, with the likes of James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Patson Daka and Jamie Vardy providing options in attack. Liverpool haven’t got it easy at the moment either and are currently set to play a total of nine games across December.
They’re one of just two teams this season to have fulfilled all their Premier League fixtures this season at the same time as reaching the quarter-finals of this competition and featuring in Europe. They too have been struck by absentees, and it remains to be seen what kind of team Jurgen Klopp sends out.
Indeed, the German has never appeared to treat the League Cup too seriously and despite his side and Man City being dominant forces over the past few seasons, they last reached the semi-finals back in 2016/17.
They even fielded a reserve side against Aston Villa in 2019/20 as they prioritized the Club World Cup, so Klopp may prefer to field the youngsters and save his senior legs for upcoming tests elsewhere.
Takumi Minamino To Score Anytime
His biggest problem lies in midfield where Thiago, Fabinho and Curtis Jones have all tested positive, while Jordan Henderson has a non-covid illness and Harvey Elliott remains injured.
At the back, Andy Robertson is suspended following his red card against Tottenham and Virgil van Dijk misses out once again through covid, while Nat Phillips is sidelined with injury.
Caoimhin Kelleher is expected to start in goal, while fringe players Neco Williams, Kostas Tsimikas, Joe Gomez, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should also be handed starts here.
In attack, Roberto Firmino is back in action up front and will be joined by Takumi Minamino, though Divock Origi looks set to lose his race against time to recover from a knee complaint.
With the usual front three of Diogo Jota, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane expected to be handed rests, 17-year-old Kaide Gordon appears the most likely to join the attacking trident.
Given Firmino has never been prolific and Minamino has bagged five goals and an assist in four matches in this competition, the latter appears the most likely to score here against a Leicester side that have leaked goals left, right and centre.
Over 3.5 Goals
With so many players missing for both sides, it’s hard to imagine either being especially well organized. That’s particularly the case given the nature of their respective managers, and we could get another frenzied performance between the two.
Nine of 11 meetings between the clubs since 2016/17 have seen at least three goals, including each of the last four. Moreover, five of Leicester’s past six games have featured at least four goals, as have 13 of Liverpool’s past 19.
OVER 3.5 GOALS
TAKUMI MINAMINO TO SCORE ANYTIME