Liverpool host Middlesbrough at Anfield in third round of the Capital One Cup at Anfield tonight, with hopes of bouncing back from a difficult week that saw them lose back-to-back Premier League matches and struggle to beat debutants Ludogorets in the Champions League.
The two teams have not met since February 2009, when the Reds lost 2-0 in a Premier League match played at the Riverside Stadium.
Middlesbrough’s last visit at Anfield came earlier in the 2008/09 season, when Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard scored a late winner in a 2-1 victory. In that game, Jamie Carragher scored what turned out to be his last goal for Liverpool.
Injury concerns dominate Liverpool preparations
Heading the match Liverpool have fresh injury concerns, with Philipe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson set to miss the match with groin and hip problems respectively.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the two will be assessed later this week to determine the extent of the injuries.
Rodgers said: "Jordan Henderson picked up a knock so we need to assess where he's at. And Philippe Coutinho is highly unlikely for tomorrow as well."
The Reds boss has also confirmed that none of his injured troops return for the Anfield showdown, the match but he will instead use the squad available to his disposal.
"We haven't got any guys returning," he said. "Glen Johnson is still out. Joe Allen and Emre Can aren't fit. Daniel Sturridge won't be fit. Young Jon Flanagan has obviously had his operation.
"So we've got a few injuries to cope with but it'll always give a chance to one or two of our younger players, who are doing very well at the Academy, to get a chance to be in the squad. That's my first look.
Karanka quietly confident of Capital One Cup shock
Aitor Karanka’s Boro have been on a good run and their weekend’s 4-0 thrashing of Brentford, a win which sent a strong signal to Liverpool that they were not pushovers heading into the Capital Cup tie.
Karanka is wary of the threat Liverpool pose heading into the tie and says his side will have to work extra hard at Anfield.
"I know they aren’t in a good way but they have a good manager and good players,’ said
"We must go there to win, you can’t go to enjoy the atmosphere. That is dangerous. Look at Real Madrid, they were very bad two weeks ago then they score eight goals.
"You cannot know what is, and what is not, a good time to play Liverpool. You have to remember, they are a Champions League team and we are a Championship team.
‘There is a big difference between Liverpool and us. Our real tests are against teams in the Championship. But we will go there and try to win.’
In a competition which has earned a strong recent reputation for shocks expect Boro to provide a much-changed Reds side with a stern test to say the least.
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