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October 30, 2019

Liverpool vs Arsenal Carabao Cup Starting XI and Player Ratings: Why the Hell Not

Chops October 30, 2019

Ah, why not? Liverpool play Arsenal at Anfield today in the Carabao Cup (or as we call it in the non-existent High Press Soccer offices, the Caribou Coffee Cup).

In our Liverpool vs Arsenal Carabao Cup preview, we thought that the Gunners would roll out a “let’s win this one baby!” line-up and Liverpool would take a more conservative, “let’s see how it goes” approach. Nah. Both squad’s line-ups indicate their collective fucks given about the Carabao Cup are somewhere between zero and zero and a half.

Liverpool have gone from around -150 to +150 since the line-ups were announced. Arsenal improved from around +250 to +155.

In what could best be described as a “defensively absent” game, regular time ended with Liverpool and Arsenal tied 5-5. Liverpool won the penalty shootout 5-4 to advance.

Here’s Liverpool’s starting XI and player ratings.

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Liverpool starting XI vs Arsenal: Carabao Cup edition

Via Liverpool’s instagram account

Liverpool Player Ratings vs Arsenal


Jurgen Klopp (7) – Klopp is giving the youths some run today. Good to see Keita, Ox, Milner and Lallana in there though. Given what Arsenal rolled out, Klopp might’ve actually put the better starting XI on the pitch. But the manager trusted the kids. While the backline was putrid, he got the result he wanted.


Caoimhin Kelleher (7.5) – Kelleher was very good against MK Dons. While it would’ve been nice to see Adrian get another start, Klopp clearly believes Kelleher has a future.

Kelleher almost brain-farted in the 8th for what could’ve been a costly turnover. That would’ve been an appropriate initiation as all top-flight Liverpool goalies have their moment. Made a solid save that was deflected out for the opening. He was betrayed by poor defending on that goal. Same story on the second goal. He made a solid save but no defenders where around to help him clear it.

Feel bad for him. Despite the scoreline you can’t really look at one of the goals and blame him. He was good! Also, kid guessed right on EVERY pk. Every single one. Good showing.


Neco Williams (7) – Reports trickled out yesterday that Williams would get the start. The 18 year-old Welsh defender has reportedly looked great for Liverpool’s U19 squad.

The best defender of the bunch mostly because he didn’t make any glaring mistakes. Led the backline in tackles (4). Great service to Origi to make it 5-5.

Joe Gomez (6) – Hopefully working himself back to fitness at center-back, where we was outstanding last season before his leg injury. Made some decent enough plays on the ball. Solid if not spectacular.

Sepp van den Berg (3) – Liverpool’s “big” summer signing gets a first team start.

Give him a break since he’s 17 but very poor game. His inability to close out Willock and flinch at the shot was rec level. He’s a couple years away from being a couple years away right now.

James Milner (6) – Was our Man of the Match in the previous Carabao Cup win. Back at left-back. Some key passes early on. Looks sharp. Buried his penalty to make it 2-3 because that’s what James Milner freaking does. Do you know what James Milner doesn’t do? The turnover on a sloppy pass back to Kelleher that gave Arsenal their 4th. Did hit his pk of course in the shootout.


Naby Keita (4) – WE CAN BUILD ON THIS NABY! That’s how we all felt against Genk last week.

Aaaaaand literally did nothing. Poor showing. Wtf. Off for Curtis Jones in the 55th.

Adam Lallana (5) –  Great ball into Ox in the 11th that could’ve been converted with a better touch from Ox. Otherwise he could’ve and should’ve created more. Somewhat disappointed, would’ve like to see more from him.

Confidently hit his pk in the shootout.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6.5) – Going against his former club, this should be the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain show today. His attempted cross to Rhian Brewster led to the opening Mustafi lol og. His turnover though led to the sequence of Arsenal’s 1-1 leveler. Should’ve ripped a shot in the 29th instead of going for an assist. Poor showing. Head isn’t in it.


His strike and goal from way deep is freaking absurd.


Harvey Elliott (5) –  The youngest ever player to start for Liverpool at Anfield: Harvey Elliott! Remember that for trivia night.

Hustles around like Mo Salah with a man bun. Sends a good early opportunity into the Atlantic Ocean in the 5th minute. His turnover led to the third Arsenal goal. Did well going down to earn the penalty for Milner.

Similar to last game, he had his moments. But he’s a couple of years away from being ready for a regular first team role.

Rhian Brewster (5) – Brewster was a bit of a dud against Dons. Here’s hoping for a good rebound performance. He was booked in the first half for getting in front of a goalie drop kick. I appreciated his ambition on that.

In general, just needs to do more if he wants to break into the first team. Not good enough. Did hit his pk in the shootout.

Divock Origi (8) – Gets the nod over Curtis Jones today. Tracking back to help a lot on defense except…he’s terrible defending. Really should’ve buried an equalizer in stoppage time in the 1st half. Atoned with this beauty though.

His second strike to level it in stoppage time was absurd.

Finally, hit his pk (obv) in the shootout.


Curtis Jones (6) – Should’ve gotten the start but came on in the 55th for Keita. Immediately looked better than Keita. Sealed the win with his pk in the shootout.

Pedro Chirivella (NR) – Came on late for Ox.



High Press Soccer Podcast Episode 37: US National Teams Make Moves and More

High Press 10 October 30, 2019

The latest High Press Soccer Podcast is up!

A wide range of topics are covered in this one, but the bulk is spent on USMNT and USWNT team news. We cover Christian Pulisic’s strong showings, Sergino Dest’s decision, and if the USWNT made the right coaching decision.

From there, we dive into La Liga news, including Lionel Messi’s latest ridiculous display.

Finally, we wrap with why Liverpool should be heavier favorites to win their first Premier League title.

Stream in this post or subscribe and download on Apple’s Pod Center.

Listen to “High Press Soccer Podcast Episode 37: US National Progress” on Spreaker.

Premier League Matchday 11 Lines: When Will Manchester City Face an Elite Opponent?

High Press 10 October 30, 2019

Unless you can’t wait to hate-watch Everton vs Tottenham, Premier League matchday 11 lacks any big marquee match-ups.

Yes, Arsenal vs Wolverhampton should be fun and open. And yes, Manchester City’s inferiority complex may have them try to put 10 past Southampton since Leicester laid 9 at St. Mary’s. Otherwise, it’s a bunch of middle table fodder and mismatches.

Speaking of City, we wrote this for our Liverpool vs Tottenham player ratings, but when looking at futures, it makes the Reds -121 to the FOURMIDABLES +100 look solid:

here are the major clubs Liverpool has played to date this EPL season:

  • Chelsea
  • Arsenal
  • Leicester City
  • Manchester United
  • Tottenham

Here are the major clubs Manchester City has played:


At some point, City are actually going to have to play some of Europe’s elite. And unless they rip off 14-18 straight wins again, Liverpool are in a commanding position to win the Premier League this season.

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Premier League Matchday 11 Lines

Saturday, November 2nd
Bournemouth +225Draw +250Manchester United +120
Aston Villa +700Draw +410Liverpool -265
Manchester City -1250Draw +1050Southampton +2800
Arsenal -141Draw +295Wolverhampton +375
Brighton -137Draw +310Norwich +340
Sheffield +114Draw +225Burnley +265
West Ham -112Draw +265Newcastle +300
Watford +370Draw +330Chelsea -152
Sunday, November 3rd
Crystal Palace +245Draw +245Leicester +112
Everton +180Draw +245Tottenham +150

Odds & Ends

  • Just call it a gut–but things have been going so well for Manchester United that a letdown against Bournemouth feels inevitable. The Bournemouth win or draw numbers are worth a look.
  • Does Arsenal’s backline inspire confidence from any quality attacking side? Wolves are starting to round into form. That +295 draw feels like a strong play.
  • We’re not saying to take Leicester +112 at Palace. However, that feels like a potential let-down game for the Foxes and Palace has been much stronger than we thought.

Where to bet the Premier League in the US

In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For New Jersey, we recommend DraftKings Sportsbook NJ or FanDuel Sportsbook.

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