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Rodgers leaves out big names

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has left out most of his top stars for Thursday night's Europa League tie against Anzhi Makhachkala.

Last Updated: 08/11/12 at 09:26 Post Comment

Brendan Rodgers: Left out most of his top stars for Thursday's Europa League

Brendan Rodgers: Left out most of his top stars for Thursday's Europa League

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Rodgers has decided to rotate his squad for the game in Moscow with Sunday's Premier League clash with Chelsea in mind.

Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Daniel Agger, Jose Reina, Glen Johnson Raheem Sterling and Jose Enrique have all not travelled as Rodgers looks to keep them fresh for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Youngsters Stephen Sama, Adam Morgan and Conor Coady have been called into the squad, while Jon Flanagan is available again after injury.

Daniel Pacheco is also included after impressing for the under 21s earlier this week, with Jamie Carragher set to captain the Reds.

Rodgers has challenged his fringe players to prove they are worthy of a place in his first-choice side.

Many of the side who struggled in last week's Capital One Cup defeat at home to Swansea will again be given the chance to impress, but Rodgers denied those players needed to redeem themselves against a side second in the Russian League but he is looking for some of them to show they can make a difference.

"I knew the cup game (against Swansea) was always going to be difficult," said Rodgers.

"But I've said to the players the biggest thing we look for is that their focus and concentration is right.

"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League but this is a real opportunity to shine and show you can get into that team.

"We have already seen that this season Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom all started in the cup competitions and they are now regulars playing in the Premier League team.

"Every game is a platform. There is a great motivation there for the players but it is also the opportunity for them to prove they can play and obviously get themselves into that team."

On the defensive

Rodgers defended the strength of the side he could put out on Thursday at the Lokomotiv Stadium - UEFA will not allow Anzhi to play in their troubled home region of Dagestan.

"It is not a secondary team," added Rodgers. "It is a team in order to a) win the game and b) give players an opportunity to play where they want to play.

"There is certainly no lack of respect for Anzhi. We have a squad here that we feel can get a result."

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ll very well selling all midfield and strikers but unless we bring anyone in that is better than what we had then it will be a terrible transfer window in my view. Sorted out the defense but our midfield and striker options look very light.

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ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

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t's wrong to be making a joke out of Bender's name at the expense of gay people. It's the kind of childish, uncivilised thing that Football365 would deride and ridicule if it was another media outlet saying. Why is there a need for jokes like this? Does it make your writers feel like men? F365 might suggest that I 'lighten up', but it is genuinely traumatic for people who have been oppressed all their lives to be the butt of jokes, and to be told...

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