Liverpool in the League Cup and why am I a little nervous

The papers tomorrow should be writing about how the Liverpool team put in a valiant effort and how they've got many youngsters that should be knocking on the door of the first team in the very near future. But we're Aston Villa and sometimes things don't always play out the way they should.

But tonight is an opportunity for us, just as much as it is for those youngsters from Liverpool.

And we should be starting with as strong a side as we can tonight, because we can't afford to slip up and it is a quarter final. It's not as if this match and those that follow in this tournament are games we can afford to rest players. Rest them in the FA Cup for me, because we have a better chance in this.

And sure, Leicester and Manchester City are still in it and neither are going to win the League, so they'll see this tournament as a chance to appease supporters, but on our day, as I've suggested above, absolutely anything can happen for us.

But we are without John McGinn if we are to believe the papers. And if true that should gives a chance hopefully for Hourihane to come back in and fingers crossed, we will see more of Luiz. I'm not sure why Lansbury started the other day, but I don't see him in training. It's not that I don't think he's not good enough, but he's still to prove himself.

Other than that, there is an argument for resting Wes. But this is also a chance for Wes to find his form. Me, I'd play Wes because we need him to start scoring, but on the other hand, you have to fancy that someone else might stand a better chance.

Whatever we think tomorrow, I'm fairly sure there are a few nervous Aston Villa fans today. I'm one of them.

Match stats from the BBC

  • This is only the second EFL Cup meeting between Aston Villa and Liverpool, with the other coming in the 2002-03 quarter-final - the Reds earned a 4-3 victory on their way to winning the competition that season.
  • Liverpool have won on each of their past six visits to Aston Villa in all competitions, all coming in the Premier League between December 2011 and November this season.
  • Aston Villa are looking to reach the semi-finals of the EFL Cup for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign; the last Englishman to lead the Villans to the semi-final stage was John Gregory in the 1999-2000 season.
  • Liverpool have progressed from each of their past four EFL Cup quarter-finals (2011-12, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17) since losing 2-0 to Chelsea at this stage in 2007-08.
  • Aston Villa's Henri Lansbury has more assists than any other player in this season's EFL Cup (five), despite playing only two matches in the competition.
  • This is Aston Villa's 21st and Liverpool's 23rd appearance at the quarter-final stage - only Tottenham (24) and Arsenal (28) have appeared in the last eight more often.
  • Liverpool have gone through on penalties eight times in the EFL Cup - more than any other team.