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Cody Gakpo looking to set club record as Liverpool bid for Wembley return

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Liverpool travel to Fulham hoping to secure their spot in next month’s League Cup final, and Cody Gakpo has a chance to put his name in the record books.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 37 games against domestic opponents in all competitions – at Tottenham last September.

The Reds have kept four clean sheets in 16 away games this season, including in each of the last three – at Burnley and Bournemouth in the league and Arsenal in the F.A. Cup.

The Reds have used 23 players in the four League Cup games this season. Only Caoimhin Kelleher, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott have started all four, though Gakpo and Darwin Nunez have also featured in every game.

Kelleher and Joe Gomez, each with 13, have made more appearances for Liverpool in the League Cup than any current Reds player.

 

Positive omens

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk applauds the supporters after the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The teams have previously met in five League Cup ties and Liverpool have progressed every time.

Liverpool have won eight of the 10 previous meetings in this competition, drawing twice.

Both draws came in the first two League Cup encounters in 1983-84 with Liverpool winning at the 3rd time of asking thanks to a Graeme Souness goal in extra-time.

The Reds are unbeaten in the last five visits to Craven Cottage – all in the league – with three wins and two draws.

 

League Cup specialists

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's Joe Gomez (R) and goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher after during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is the 19th League Cup semi-final for Liverpool, a competition record, and they have won a record 13 of the previous 18.

Should the Reds advance further they will play in a competition best 14th final. They have lifted the trophy nine times, more than any other team.

They have faced London opposition in six previous semi-finals and have reached the final four times, being eliminated by Q.P.R. in 1986 and Chelsea in 2015.

Only once have Liverpool won a semi-final first leg in this competition and not proceeded to the final. That came in 1998 when they beat 2nd tier Middlesbrough 2-1 at Anfield, before losing 2-0 in the return.

That is the only time in the 18 League Cup semi-finals that Liverpool have lost a game by two goals.

 

Gakpo eyes history

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo celebrates after scoring the third goal during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gakpo could become the first Liverpool player in history to score in five successive League Cup matches.

He became the fourth Liverpool substitute in history to score in a League Cup semi-final, after David Fairclough (1980), Vladimir Smicer (2001) and Jordan Ibe (2016).

No Liverpool player has ever scored a hat-trick in the semi-final of any competition.

Liverpool could keep a fourth successive away clean sheet in all competitions for the first time since March 2022.

 

This season’s scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fulham: De Cordova-Reid 5, Willian 5, Jimenez 5, Iwobi 4, Vinicius 3, Wilson 3, own goals 3, Cairney 2, Palhinha 2, Adarabioyo 1, Muniz Carvalho 1, Pereira 1, Ream 1, Tete 1

Liverpool: Salah 18, Jota 11, Nunez 10, Gakpo 9, Diaz 6, own goals 5, Jones 4, Szoboszlai 4, Alexander-Arnold 2, Endo 2, Gravenberch 2, Elliott 1, Mac Allister 1, Quansah 1, Robertson 1, Van Dijk 1


* Stats courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).