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Aug 31, 2021 at 7pm UK
Liverpool U21sLiverpool Under-21s
Kelly (33'), O'Keeffe (50' pen., 72'), Andrews (78')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Rochdale vs. Liverpool Under-21s - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Rochdale vs. Liverpool Under-21s - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's EFL Trophy clash between Rochdale and Liverpool Under-21s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Liverpool Under-21s begin their 2021-22 EFL Trophy campaign with a trip to League Two side Rochdale on Tuesday evening.

The sides have been drawn in Group D alongside Bolton Wanderers and Port Vale, with the top two advancing to the next stage.

Match preview

Liverpool are one of 16 Premier League academy sides featuring in the tournament and will be aiming to improve on their disappointing showing from last season.

The Reds lost all three games and conceded 13 goals in the process as they exited the competition in the first round.

Indeed, since joining the competition at the start of 2019-20, Liverpool have still yet to win a single match.

The EFL Trophy is supposed to provide Jurgen Klopp's rising stars a chance to impress, but all it has done so far is show there is a big gulf between age-grade and senior football.

Rochdale will therefore feel confident of putting all three points on the board in midweek, but they also exited the competition in the first round last time out.

The Dale were relegated to the fourth tier of English football last season and have made a rather underwhelming start to the 2021-22 campaign.

However, after collecting just one point from their opening three matches, Robbie Stockdale's charges have since defeated Northampton Town and drawn with Colchester United.

It remains to be seen just how seriously Stockdale will take this competition, with next weekend's trip to Port Vale likely taking priority over the two fixtures.

Rochdale form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Rochdale are expected to rotate their side between league matches, which could see some fringe players given a chance to impress.

Jay Lynch is not expected to be in contention after sustaining a knock in the warm-up ahead of the Colchester match.

Danny Cashman is a contender to come into the starting lineup after being overlooked in favour of Alex Newby last time out.

As for Liverpool, they have the likes of Kaide Gordon, James McConnell and Thomas Hill in their squad for this contest.

Matteo Ritaccio recently signed a new deal at Anfield and will be looking to take the next step in his career with some promising displays in the EFL Trophy.

Rochdale possible starting lineup:
Coleman; Taylor, O'Connell, Dorsett; O'Keeffe, Dooley, Morley, Keohane; Cashman, Beesley, Odoh

Liverpool Under-21s possible starting lineup:
Hughes; Wilson, Clayton, Boyes, Gallacher; Bearne, Corness, Ritaccio, Longstaff; O'Rourke, Stewart

We say: Rochdale 2-0 Liverpool Under-21s

Liverpool have really struggled in this competition over the past couple of seasons and are still seeking their first EFL Trophy win at the seventh attempt.

Rochdale's priorities may lie elsewhere, but we can see them kicking off their Group D campaign with all three points on Tuesday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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