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  1. The next round of the League Cup presents Klopp with another chance to rest first teamers and give the fringe players and academy graduates another chance to get a run out and state their case to be involved with the first team. I'd expect a very similar line-up and approach to what we saw at Norwich in the last round. To that end: Poise. Nous. Effectiveness. I don't ask for much. The teams have never met in this competition before, and given that the once-mighty Lancashire club - the only side the complete a league and cup double while remaining unbeaten all season, a club where Bill Shankly made his name and where Tom Finney was the club legend and an old-school gentleman in the mold of Jimmy Armfield - have been outside the top flight for decades, fixtures between the two are few and far between. It's unlikely they will meet in the league any time soon as Preston are currently languishing just outside the relegation zone in the Championship. The last time the sides met was in the FA Cup 3rd round at Deepdale in January 2009. Liverpool came away with an efficient if uninspiring 2-0 win thanks to a piledriver from Albert Riera (remember him?) and a late breakway goal tucked in by El Nino. The next round saw us face a Merseyside derby. Apparently the shite scored a stoppage time winner in the replay but as nobody saw it, it doesn't count. The big film that weekend at the box office was Marley & Me, a rom-com starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as a couple who adopt a fiesty and disobedient lab puppy. As with puppies the world over, the dog is too damned affectionate to get mad at, so the story tells their lives overlaid with the life of their pet. It's a predictable story and an easy watch for the most part, but as is sadly predictable for anyone whose family has been graced by man's best friend, the film has a sad denouement that is very hard to watch, especially for those who have been in that situation. I've never owned a dog but can see that they have an unconditional love that grabs you in a way that you could never have expected, so when it's finally time, a part of you leaves with it. It's probably the one movie where Owen Wilson plays someone other than Owen Wilson for a little while too. As I said before, Preston have been languishing near the foot of the Championship this season. Sepp van den Berg is on loan there but cannot play against us I believe. I'm not sure if it's a competition rule or part of any loan arrangement. I've looked at their squad on Wiki and I'm not familiar with most of them. They do have Ched Evans, Connor Wickham and Scott Sinclair. Regardless, whatever team we select needs to make sure they approach the game the right way and do all the right things. Inexperience might be evident at times but the experienced players around them need to ensure it is not exposed or exploited. Do the right things and earn the right to get some more game time in the next round. Just get it done.
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