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Klopp still needs to prove he can handle Carabao Cup commitments at Liverpool

Pep Lijnders gives Liverpool team news ahead of Norwich clash

Liverpool head to Norwich on Tuesday night looking to make a mark on the Carabao Cup, a box Jurgen Klopp is yet to truly tick.

Now, the German has ended a 30-year wait for a league title and delivered Europe’s top prize. Legacy cemented.

However, adding some stardust to those achievements wouldn’t go a miss.

When Klopp was appointed back in late 2015 he quickly made his mark by taking Liverpool to the Carabao Cup final.

There they were undone on penalties by Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City and since then they’ve failed to really bother the latter stages of the competition.

Now we all accept that the Carabao Cup is the least desired of the domestic prizes – nevertheless a trophy is a trophy.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are yet to make an impression on the cup competitions in England


AFP via Getty Images)

I’m sure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wouldn’t turn it down for example.

Pep Guardiola has made winning it a habit and it’s often said that the great managers treat every competition seriously. Jose Mourinho was the same in his pomp.

Both men have won the trophy on four occasions.

Klopp is yet to claim a domestic cup in England with the FA Cup also eluding him.

Now his gripe with the English fixture schedule is well documented. Ever since he arrived he’s made his feelings known and Liverpool’s backlog of injuries last term will have done little to change his mind.

That said, the mark of a team, especially one that has the resources of Liverpool, is one that can fight on several fronts.

The Reds are, year in year out, one of the strongest teams in the Carabao Cup, yet they’ve failed to make it past the fourth round in three of the last four years.

Leicester and Chelsea beat them in 2018 and 2019 respectively, Aston Villa saw off the club’s youngsters in 2019 before Arsenal won out on penalties last year.

A semi-final against Southampton is Liverpool’s only campaign of note in the competition.

Now the Villa loss requires some context, given that the fixtures fell horribly for the Reds and they found themselves competing in the Club World Cup in Qatar.

Where will Liverpool finish this season? Comment below.

The other three clashes were winnable games however.

You never get the sense that winning a cup is a priority, it’s more of a distraction. And it must be said that Klopp isn’t the only manager who gives off that vibe.

Even in the FA Cup, a competition that is perceived as more desirable, Klopp has failed to make it past the fifth round – losing to Wolves twice and West Brom at Anfield.

Those facts take nothing away from the job he’s done on Merseyside, but it is an accomplishment he is yet to fulfil.

Now Norwich are struggling at the bottom of the Premier League and have already fallen victim to Liverpool this term.

The Reds won 3-0 on the opening weekend and will be heavy favourites to progress.

Changes to the line-up are expected, but Klopp’s side still have more than enough to win and, should they do so, a last 16 clash awaits.

Managers often say they take it one game at a time, and if Liverpool do that, with the quality they have, a cup final at the very least could soon be on their calendar.

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