Liverpool FC will hope for another magical European night at Anfield as they look to overturn a two-goal deficit against Zenit St Petersburg.
With the Reds having failed to score an away goal in the first leg, they will need to beat Zenit by three goals or more to advance to the next round.
Liverpool’s confidence will have been boosted by a 5-0 victory over Swansea at the weekend, but they will be without two of the goalscorers from that game – new signings Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge – who are ineligible for European competition.
Another two players that will be missing for Thursday’s game are Fabio Borini and Martin Skrtel, who are both injured. Borini dislocated his shoulder after coming on as a substitute against Swansea and could be out for the rest of the season, while Skrtel picked up a knock on his knee in training and is unlikely to be fit to face his former club.
The Reds made four changes for Sunday’s game at home to Swansea, with Daniel Agger, Lucas, Coutinho and Sturridge starting in place of Martin Skrtel, Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling. Agger and Lucas look likely to retain their places in the starting XI, while Sterling and Allen will hope to earn a recall.
With Liverpool needing to score at least three goals on Thursday night to secure victory, Brendan Rodgers might also consider Jonjo Shelvey – the 20-year-old is Liverpool’s top scorer in Europe this season, with four goals to his name.
If Liverpool are able to overcome Zenit, they will face Basel or Dnipro in the round of 16. Dnipro, like Liverpool, are trailing 2-0 from the first leg and will need a big win to advance to the next stage.