While Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool hasn't been involved in the competition until now, the Foxes have already progressed by defeating Burton Albion and Tranmere Rovers, securing 2-0 wins in both matches to earn themselves a trip to Merseyside.
Liverpool's recent performances have been impressive, with consecutive 3-1 victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers and LASK Linz in the Premier League and Europa League, respectively. They continued their winning streak by defeating West Ham United with the same scoreline, although this time, they didn't need to come from behind.
Despite Jarrod Bowen's brave header for the Hammers, Mohamed Salah had already scored from the penalty spot, and later on, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota added to the tally in the second half.
Liverpool's strong form has propelled them to second place in the Premier League, just two points behind Manchester City, especially after both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur dropped points in the North London derby.
The Reds are currently on a six-match winning streak, consistently scoring at least two goals in each game. They also maintain an unbeaten record in competitive fixtures, stretching back 18 games since an embarrassing 4-1 loss to Manchester City in early April.
Liverpool, a nine-time EFL Cup champion, has won their last four third-round ties in the competition. However, their defense of the 2022 crown ended prematurely with a defeat to Manchester City in the fourth round nine months ago.
Leicester City's recent history against Liverpool includes a 3-0 loss in their penultimate Premier League home game of the 2022-23 season, shortly before their official relegation from the top flight. However, under the guidance of Enzo Maresca, they have taken a commanding position at the top of the Championship standings, earning 21 points out of 24 available in the 2023-24 season.
Their only defeat this season came just before the international break in a 1-0 loss at home to Hull City. However, they bounced back with three consecutive victories against Southampton, Norwich City, and most recently, Bristol City.
Jamie Vardy's penalty secured a 1-0 win against Bristol City, and the 36-year-old striker's celebration, reminiscent of Emmanuel Adebayor, was a memorable moment. Leicester is among the teams with seven wins from their first eight matches, and while promotion remains a goal, they are currently focused on avoiding a second EFL Cup third-round exit in the past seven seasons. Their hopes of cup glory were dashed in the 2021-22 season when they lost in a penalty shootout to Liverpool in the quarter-finals.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONJurgen Klopp is fortunate to have a nearly fully fit squad, with only two known concerns. Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is dealing with a hamstring issue, may have a slim chance of being available for the third-round clash, but Klopp is unlikely to risk his vice-captain in an EFL Cup match.
Thiago Alcantara, who is recovering from a hip injury, is not expected to return until the start of October at the earliest. Stefan Bajcetic was absent from the squad against West Ham but had recently returned to action against LASK in the Europa League, so his absence should not be a cause for concern.
Stefan Bajcetic may take on an inverted full-back role again, and other players like Ryan Gravenberch, Caoimhin Kelleher, Jarell Quansah, and Ben Doak could also feature in a lineup similar to their recent European starting XI.
On the other hand, the Championship team, Leicester City, managed by Enzo Maresca, has some injury concerns. Dennis Praet and Tom Cannon are both dealing with back injuries, and left-back Callum Doyle suffered a knee injury against Bristol City, necessitating crutches as he left the ground. Unfortunately, Doyle is expected to be out of action for months, as confirmed by Maresca.
Former Liverpool academy product Conor Coady, who has recovered from a fractured foot, was on the bench in the previous game. However, Maresca is taking a cautious approach with the 30-year-old defender, suggesting that it would be better for him to build up his match fitness gradually as a substitute before returning to the starting lineup.
Overall, Leicester City is well-prepared for their trip to Anfield, and they are likely to include several familiar names in their starting lineup, given the quality of their opposition. Additionally, there is potential for Cesare Casadei, Marc Albrighton, and Kelechi Iheanacho to be part of the side.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPS Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Bajcetic, Konate, Quansah, Tsimikas; Elliott, Endo, Gravenberch; Doak, Gakpo, Jota
Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Stolarczyk; Pereira, Faes, Vestergaard, Justin; Casadei, Ndidi, Winks; Akgun, Iheanacho, Mavididi
Liverpool 2-0 Leicester City
Liverpool has been consistently scoring multiple goals in recent weeks, and it's expected that they won't encounter many obstacles on their path to advancing to the fourth round of the competition.