The Carabao Cup tie with MK Dons later this month is expected to be an opportunity for a number of changes to be made to the Reds’ starting XI, with chances to be handed to the likes of Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri, who have seen their minutes limited so far this season.
Younger players like Rhian Brewster and summer arrivals Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott, who impressed in pre-season, were also expected to feature, if only as substitutes.
The EFL Trophy, though, in which the Reds have an U21 side entered, could change those plans.
The U21s, managed by U23s boss Neil Critchley, are scheduled to play Fleetwood Town’s senior team in that competition at the same time as the first team head to Milton Keynes, and the club could well decide that it would be more beneficial for them to play in that.
Brewster will almost certainly play at Stadium MK because of a lack of other options in the frontline, but with Divock Origi and Shaqiri to play out wide, Elliott might not be required.
At the back, Dejan Lovren, who scored for Croatia last night, and Joe Gomez, who has lost his place to Joel Matip, are likely to be the centre-back pairing for the Carabao Cup clash, with Van den Berg therefore not needed.
It seems to be completely unnecessary to schedule both games at the same time, but that’s how it’s going to be.