A wonder-strike from Stewart Downing secured three points for Liverpool against Anzhi two weeks ago and another victory in Russia would leave the Reds on the verge of qualifying for the knockout phase of the Europa League.
Brendan Rodgers fielded a stronger than expected side for Liverpool’s last Europa League fixture but with a tricky away game at Chelsea taking place on Sunday, Rodgers has opted to rest several players in Russia. Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have not travelled, with Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Daniel Agger, Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson and Raheem Sterling also not in Rodgers’ squad.
This will create opportunities for the likes of Jamie Carragher, Sebastian Coates, Joe Cole and Jonjo Shelvey, who has already scored three goals in the Europa League group stage. In attack, Rodgers is likely to choose between Samed Yesil and Adam Morgan.
Before losing to Liverpool two weeks ago, Anzhi were unbeaten in 13 matches. Since the game at Anfield, the Russian side have won two of their three league fixtures. They are currently second in the Russian Premier League, one point behind CSKA Moscow after 14 games.
Their main goal threat will of course be captain Samuel Eto’o, who has scored seven league goals this season and scored both goals in Anzhi’s 2-0 victory over Young Boys last month.