Liverpool match 23-year record with Fulham team selection in Carabao Cup semi-final

Jurgen Klopp matched a 23-year record with his team selection for Fulham vs Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday evening.

The Reds progressed to the Carabao Cup final after beating the Cottagers over two legs, winning 2-1 at Anfield before a 1-1 draw in west London midweek.

Luis Diaz scored the crucial goal after just 11 minutes at Craven Cottage, Fulham unable to stage a late comeback despite Issa Diop's equaliser.

Despite the significance of Wednesday's clash, Klopp was still willing to rotate his side for the trip down south, with Caoimhin Kelleher retaining his place in goal, Conor Bradley earning another appearance and Ryan Gravenberch coming in for Curtis Jones.

In the end, his team selection paid dividends, while also matching a record that has stood for almost 25 years.

According to Opta's Michael Reid, Liverpool fielded their youngest lineup in a major cup semi-final since 2001, the average age of Klopp's team being just 24 years and 194 days.

That's 136 days younger than Klopp's team for the first leg, which was already Liverpool's youngest in a major cup semi-final since the 2002/03 season.

Among the starting XI on Wednesday were Ryan Gravenberch (21), Harvey Elliott (21), Conor Bradley (20) and Jarell Quansah (20), while the only player over 30 was captain Virgil van Dijk.

Klopp also turned to youth from the bench, 18-year-old midfielder Bobby Clark brought into the action with six minutes of normal time remaining and the game tied.

There were plenty of other academy starlets on the bench, including James McConnell, Trey Nyoni and Owen Beck.

Klopp has continually shown faith in his younger players this season, with several likely to get minutes again this weekend when Liverpool host Norwich City in the FA Cup fourth round.

Share This Article