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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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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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