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Liverpool Under-23 coach Neil Critchley is set to take charge of a youthful Reds team against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-final next month, while Jurgen Klopp is in Qatar with the senior players for the Club World Cup.

The Merseysiders are facing the prospect of playing two games on different two continents in the space of 24 hours, with their clash at Villa taking place on Tuesday, December 18 and their Club World Cup semi-final in the Middle East scheduled for the following day.

Klopp will head out with the senior side on Sunday, December 15 to prepare for the FIFA tournament, which runs to the following weekend, leaving Critchley and the club’s youth players to fulfil their midweek fixture in the Midlands.

Academy midfielder Curtis Jones, aged just 18, is likely to captain the Reds, with fellow teenagers Rhian Brewster, Harvey Elliott, Ki-Jana Hoever, Neco Williams and Sepp van den Berg all set to play.

Those youngsters also featured in Liverpool’s victories over Arsenal and MK Dons in the earlier rounds, along with a sprinkling of senior players such as James Milner and Divock Origi.

All senior stars are likely to be part of the Club World Cup squad, meaning the Carabao Cup team is set to consist entirely of academy players.

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