Sport Soccer

Saturday 17 March 2018

Jurgen Klopp to start three Liverpool Academy players against Bournemouth in League Cup

Liverpool boss Jurgen club
Liverpool boss Jurgen club

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp will hand home debuts to three Academy youngsters in Wednesday night's Capital One Cup.

Cameron Brannigan, Connor Randall and midfielder Joao Teixeira will all start against Bournemouth at Anfield.

Klopp says he has been impressed by the under-21 players during his first month at Anfield.

With the German coach needing to give senior stars a break ahead of this weekend's trip to Chelsea, several changes to the line-up are inevitable but Klopp insisted all the inexperienced players have earned their chance.

Teixeira has featured for the first team before under Brendan Rodgers, but for Brannigan and Randall it is a significant show of faith.

Klopp will also take the opportunity to give Adam Bogdan a chance in goal. Bogdan played in the last round, helping avoid embarrassment against Carlisle when Liverpool needed a penalty shoot-out to progress.

Although Roberto Firmino is recovering from injury, the absence of Christian Benteke gives Klopp problems in attack where once more he is left with only Divock Origi.

Benteke's injury is not too serious but he is facing a fight to be fit for the weekend.

Who are the Academy new boys?

Cameron Brannagan

- Age: 19

- Born: Salford, May 9, 1996

- Position: Midfielder

- First-team appearances: One

- Debut: Came off the bench in Liverpool's Europa League group game with  Bordeaux last month when he replaced Jordan Rossiter.

- What they say: Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, has said the teenager has "everything you need" from a midfielder after he was handed a new deal.

Joao Teixeira

- Age: 22

- Born: Braga, Portugal, Jan 18, 1993

- Position: Midfielder

- First-team appearances: One

- Debut: Came off the bench to replace Raheem Sterling in 3-2 win against Fulham in Feb 2014. Played part in build-up to winning penalty that won game.

- What they say: "I watched this kid a couple of years ago playing for Sporting Lisbon against Liverpool at Anfield in a youth game; I could see straight away he was the best player on the pitch," said Steven Gerrard after his debut. 

Connor Randall

- Age: 20

- Born: Liverpool, Oct 21, 1995

- Position: Right-back

- First-team appearances: None

- Loan star? Made just one appearance while loaned out to Shrewsbury Town in their promotion-winning season this year. Came on as 90th-minute substitute.

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