Liverpool travel to St James’ Park in Exeter to take on League One side Exeter City in the 2nd round of the League Cup. The reds were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition in the 3rd round at Anfield last year when League Two side Northampton beat the reds on penalties.
The reds enter the League Cup a round earlier than usual after failing to secure European Football last season.
The Grecians play in their 9,000 capacity stadium, on land that was formerly used to fatten pigs.
Exeter have undergone something of a revival in recent years. After being relegated out of the Football League in 2003. Two of their club directors were later found guilty of fraud and the club was taken over by a supporters trust. With debt piling up the clubs fans fund-raised. Fortunately, the club were handed a plum tie against Manchester United in 2005, and then got a replay at their home ground. This all helped them get out of debt by the end of the year.
In 2008 the club finally got back in to the Football League, beating Cambridge 1-0 in the play off final.
In 2008-09 they finished second in League Two to gain promotion to League One. In 2009-10 they managed to stay in League One by one point. The following season, last year, they improved to finish 8th, narrowly missing out on a play off spot. Exeter City have never been above the third tier of English football, although with current manager Paul Tisdale in place since 2006 they appear to have the stability to push on.
The club have retired their number 9 shirt after the tragic death of their striker Adam Stansfield from cancer last August.
Liverpool are without Steven Gerrard and Fabio Aurelio through injury. Liverpool fans will be eyeing the team up with anticipation. With an absence of European football it will be interesting to see how important the club place on the value of the trophy. Exeter away is also a much tougher fixture than Northampton at home last year should have been. The reds do have Bolton on Saturday evening, however we expect to see a few of the first team fringe players involved, compared with the youth team sent out in the 3rd round last year.
Liverpool have started the Premier League season in better form than last year, with 4 points from their opening two games.
Exeter have not had a happy start to the season, picking up just one point from their first four games. They have lost their last three in the League. They did beat fellow League One side Yeovil in the first round of the competition.
History favours Liverpool. We have played Exeter on four occasions and beaten them every time.
Our last meeting was at this stage of the League Cup 30 years ago in the 1981/82 season. At that time there were 2 legs. Liverpool won 5-0 at Anfield before winning 6-0 at St James Park. An aggregate 11-0 score.
One of the men to score in both legs of the tie was the current manager, Kenny Dalglish.
Liverpool start as favourites at 4/11. The draw is 4/1 and Exeter can be backed at 7/1.
You can get 20/1 for Exeter to be leading at half time and then for Liverpool to win in 90 minutes. A repeat of the scoreline last time at St James Park is 80/1 for a 6-0 LFC win. A 3-2 victory for Exeter is 60/1.