Leicester still have Premier League quality – Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders

By Sports Desk September 26, 2023

Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders believes they will take on a Premier League quality team in Leicester in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

The Championship leaders, who look set to vie for an immediate return to the top flight under new coach Enzo Maresca, will make the trip to Anfield for a third-round tie.

Lijnders took over the hotseat from Jurgen Klopp for the pre-match press conference, and he said: “We know we’re going to play against a team that has a lot of individual quality.

“It shows how they are doing in the league. A real clear offensive game idea, very quick installation of this idea with the coach Enzo – he does an unbelievable job. I think each player could play in the Premier League.

“It will be really hard for us to get control of their key players and at the same time put them under pressure. As always in each game we will focus on ourselves.

“Of course we will make changes but we want to put our game into place, we want to be dominant, we want to be in their half of the pitch.”

The game will come too soon for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who Lijnders said “looked outstanding” on his return to training on Monday following a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is yet to make an appearance this season, is back on the grass but is working individually.

There could be another chance, though, for 17-year-old winger Ben Doak, who started last week’s Europa League match in Linz.

Lijnders cited his Dutch heritage while discussing Doak’s potential, saying: “He is young so a lot of things can happen.

“I had the privilege to grow up in Holland and we have this culture, a long tactical culture of Johan Cruyff. This idea of having the wingers on the outside, they can create, can really disorganise the opposition, use the speed.

“Then, if you get a young winger from Scotland but only 17 years old and he has this capacity to create and to reach the final line with individual movement, it’s nice to see.

“The good thing about Ben in my opinion is he comes into a squad with so much senior authority. He will never make a sidestep, the boys will already tell him.

“He has this great low gravity and that’s how he can control the ball better. So he’s a really interesting player but loads to come, he needs to mature, he needs to listen to Robbo (Andy Robertson), to Mo Salah, to all these guys that are trying to help him.

“And I think it’s really good for the older players to have young players with this hunger. That combination is what we always had and that’s how we want to construct the squad.”

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