Elliott in line for Liverpool debut as Klopp picks youthful squad for MK Dons clash

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Ian MacNicol

Liverpool could hand debuts to as many as eight players in Wednesday night's Carabao Cup clash with MK Dons, Goal can reveal.

The Reds have selected a youthful squad for the third-round tie away at the League One outfit, with a host of youngsters in line to feature in the game.

Harvey Elliott, the 16-year-old signed from Fulham in the summer, is one such player. The teenager, who made his professional debut for the Cottagers in the League Cup 12 months ago, is set for a first senior Reds appearance having began the season with Neil Critchley’s Under-23 side. He would become the second-youngest player in Liverpool's history were he to feature.

Elliott is joined in the squad by fellow new-boy Sepp van den Berg, while 18-year-old midfielders Luis Longstaff and Leighton Clarkson have also travelled. Longstaff scored for the U-23s against Leicester City last weekend, while Clarkson has impressed staff in training at Melwood while making a solid start to the campaign with Barry Lewtas' U-18 side.

Also in the squad are local duo Curtis Jones and Adam Lewis, Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever as well as the highly-rated Rhian Brewster, who will make his long-awaited first-team bow in attack, almost two-and-a-half years after his first call-up to the senior squad.

Midfielders Herbie Kane and Pedro Chirivella could also feature, while Ireland U-21 international Caoimhin Kelleher will start in goal ahead of the veteran Andy Lonergan.

The squad will be bolstered by a number of senior players, with Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain available. Naby Keita is back from injury and set to start, though Xherdan Shaqiri has been ruled out with a calf problem.

Shaqiri joins Divock Origi (ankle) on the sidelines, while Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Joel Matip, Gini Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson have all been rested entirely for the trip, with Klopp keeping an eye on Saturday’s Premier League trip to Sheffield United.

Curtis Jones Liverpool 2019

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The Liverpool manager left the pre-match media duties to Pep Lijnders, his assistant, on Tuesday afternoon. 

The Reds have exited the League Cup at the third-round stage in each of the last two seasons, but Lijnders told his press conference that "a Premier League team" would be selected at Stadium MK, and claimed that Liverpool would take the competition seriously. "Cup competitions," he said, "are the soul of football".

Also on Wednesday, an U-21 side will take on Fleetwood in the EFL Trophy. Layton Stewart, the 16-year-old striker who has impressed for the U-18s this season, is expected to feature in that game.