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Anzhi vs Liverpool Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Liverpool head to Russia looking to tighten their grip at the top of Group A as they take on Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League tonight.
Boss Brendan Rodgers has taken the bold decision to leave several key players at home, with one eye on Sunday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea in mind.
Liverpool will have to make do without Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Daniel Agger, Jose Reina, Glen Johnson, Raheem Sterling and Jose Enrique for the clash leaving Rodgers with an inexperienced squad to choose from.
It’s a risky move considering how tight the group is, with only three points separating top from bottom, so defeat tonight could leave the Reds qualification hopes hanging in the balance.
Liverpool ran out 1-0 winners at home a fortnight ago but will be tested by an impressive Anzhi side who played some good football at Anfield and have won their last four European home games without conceding a single goal.
Youngsters Stephen Sama, Adam Morgan and Conor Coady have been called into the squad to replace the more experienced names, while Brendan Rodgers will also give the likes of Joe Cole and Jordan Henderson a chance to impress.
Jamie Carragher is likely to lead the team out and line-up alongside Sebastien Coates at the back.
Defensive midfielder Jucilei is available after shaking off a minor knock and is expected to start. Manager Guus Hiddink will reply upon Samuel Eto’o to provide a goal threat while former Premier League players Yuri Zhirkov and Christopher Samba are again familiar names in the Anzhi side.
A big call from Rodgers to leave practically his entire first team at home, but a completely understandable decision with a trip to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Unfortunately we can see the move backfiring and Anzhi taking the points tonight. Anzhi 2-0 Liverpool.
What would your team be and what’s your score prediction? Get involved in the comments section.