BRENDAN Rodgers has confirmed his intention to field a strong team for Liverpool’s Europa League clash at home to Young Boys as the Reds look to seal qualification for the knockout stage of the competition.
If Anzhi Makhachkala avoid defeat at home to Udinese, a win for Liverpool would ensure they qualify from Group A and in his pre-match press conference, Rodgers said Steven Gerrard and other senior players would be involved in the match.
However Rodgers admitted that he would have to rotate his squad, with the Reds set to play four matches in 10 days.
Liverpool’s first game of the Europa League group stage was away to Young Boys, where a late brace from Jonjo Shelvey helped the Reds secure a 5-3 victory. Shelvey will hope to start against the Swiss side after making his return from injury in the 3-0 win over Wigan, coming on as a late substitute. Oussama Assaidi will also expect to be involved as the Moroccan winger has featured in all four of Liverpool’s previous group games. If Pepe Reina starts, he will beat Ray Clemence’s goalkeeping record of 80 European appearances for the Reds.
After losing their first two games in Group A, Young Boys have beaten Udinese twice and the Swiss side are currently level on points with Liverpool. Their top scorer is Raul Bobadilla, who signed for Young Boys from Borussia Mönchengladbach in January. Bobadilla has scored four Europa League goals so far, one fewer than the competition’s top scorer Edison Cavani.
A win at Anfield would put Young Boys in the driving seat to reach the knockout stage, but history is on Liverpool’s side as the Reds haven’t lost to Swiss opposition for 41 years. Young Boys are also struggling for form in the Swiss Super League, having won just one of their last five games.
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