One person in particular would have been licking their lips when Preston North End were paired up against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup fourth round.

The Championship side host the eight-time winners at Deepdale, and in Sepp van den Berg there is a player who has a foot in both camps. The Dutchman is on loan at Preston from the Reds.

He originally joined in February, featuring prominently in the second half of last season. The arrangement was extended to cover the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign.

And the Dutchman has made 17 appearances so far for North End, playing in all three EFL Cup ties.

Sepp van den Berg is on loan at Preston from Liverpool

Boss Frankie McAvoy and his players will surely be have been pestering Van den Berg ever since that draw was made, to get whatever inside info they can on Jurgen Klopp's side.

And the 19-year-old will be hoping to put that expertise into practice, as Liverpool have granted him permission to play against his parent club.

EFL rules state that players who are on season-long loans can acquire written permission from their parent club to play against them in domestic cup competitions, including in the Carabao Cup.

A previous example is when Chelsea allowed Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount to play against them in this competition whilst on loan at Derby County.

Chelsea allowed Mason Mount to play against them in a Carabao Cup tie, whilst on loan at Derby

Speaking of the decision to allow van den Berg to play against his employers, Kop number two Pep Lijnders said: “Yes, of course he should play.

“It’s like, if you want to be a chef, you need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen! So, what would our message be if we sent our players on loan to get good games and then there’s a good game coming and not letting them play?

“We want to give young players opportunities and for Sepp it is an amazing game. I am in contact with him, he looks forward to it and that’s probably the most important thing.

Van den Berg has played four times for Liverpool's first-team (

Image:

PA)

“It’s exactly what he needed; a young centre-half who is playing in a different position but is fighting in the Championship. If you can come out of that league you will be ready for a lot."

Van den Berg recently spoke of his aspirations at Anfield - and the advice garnered from fellow countryman Virgil van Dijk. Speaking to Dutch paper NOS, he said: "I quickly noticed what big steps you can take in six months of Championship.

"So I thought: if I play there for another year, I really have a chance at Liverpool. He (Virgil van Dijk) told me that he thought it was a good choice because making minutes is so important.

"Who knows, I may be next to him next season. You should always keep dreaming."

Upon signing for the club in 2019, he said: "It's just an amazing feeling. It is, for me, the biggest club in the world and it's a dream come true. I am really excited.

"I've seen what kind of players from the academy grew into the first team here. It is unbelievable, especially when this kind of big club does that."

He will be hoping that tonight he can show what he is capable of as he bids to plant a seed deep within Klopp's mind.

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