In his pre-match press conference, Rodgers confirmed that Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez will be involved, while noting that Joe Cole will be available after returning from injury. Cole featured for the U21s on Monday night, scoring in the 3-0 win over Fulham and Rodgers praised the 30-year-old’s “superb” attitude.
Though he is still serving his domestic ban, Jonjo Shelvey is eligible for the Udinese game and Jose Enrique is close to returning from injury. Martin Kelly and Lucas Leiva remain injured but those players aside, the rest of the Liverpool squad are fit and available. Liverpool’s younger players, such as Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom, may feature again after impressing in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Norwich.
After drawing 0-0 at the weekend, Udinese sit 15th in Serie A with six points from their opening six games. Their only league win so far this season was a 2-1 victory over AC Milan, in which Antonio Di Natale scored the winning goal from the penalty spot.
Di Natale, who is Udinese’s captain, was dropped for the Genoa game after a confrontation with head coach Francesco Guidolin, but Guidolin said that matter has been resolved so the 34-year-old is expected to return to action on Thursday night. Di Natale has scored more than 80 goals for Udinese over the last three seasons and Liverpool’s defenders will need to watch him closely to keep him off the scoresheet.
With home advantage and an almost fully-fit squad, Liverpool will be favourites to win on Thursday night. But Udinese are tough opposition who will be determined to come away from Anfield with something, so the Reds will need to work hard to collect three points.