FC Gomel - Liverpool Preview: Rodgers looks for win in first competitive game in charge of Reds
Merseysiders look to begin a new era under former the Swansea boss with a victory in their Europa League clash with the Belarus side, but will be without star striker Luis Suarez
By Simon Sinclair
Matveychik, Kirilchik, Kaveshki, Kilmovich
Nowak, Levitski, Platonov;
Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique
Henderson, Gerrard, Spearing, Adam, Cole
Gomel boss Oleg Kubarev may opt to stick with the same team that played in the 1-0 defeat to Renova in the last qualifying round. The Belarusian played with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Vadim Demidovich leading the line in front of Artur Levitski, Tomasz Nowak and Dmitri Platonov.
Skipper Nikolai Kashevski will anchor the centre of defence alongside Pavel Kirilchik. Aleksei Timoshenko, Denis Yakho and Andrey Sheryakov could push for starts if Kubarev chooses to change his starting XI.
Brendan Rodgers will be without several key players for the trip to Belarus. Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy are both tied up with Olympics duties, leaving the former Swans boss to likely opt to play new signing Fabio Borini up front on his own.
Andy Carroll is also pushing for a start despite speculation linking him with a move away from the club. Defenders Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly have been given extra time following Euro 2012 to rest, however Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Pepe Reina should feature for the Reds.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Thursday’s clash will be Brendan Rodgers’ first competitive game as Liverpool manager after being appointed in June.
In their three pre-season games under the former Swansea boss, the Reds are yet to record a victory following draws with Tottenham and Toronto and a loss to Roma whilst on tour in America.
Liverpool’s last competitive European game was against Braga in the Europa League on 17 March 2011, where they drew 0-0 and the result consequently saw them knocked out of the tournament.
Fabio Borini (pictured right) is the only signing Rodgers’ has made this summer after joining the club for a fee in the region of £10 million from Roma.
This will be the first time Liverpool and FC Gomel have ever played against each other.
FC Gomel are currently third in the Belarusian Premier League having played 15 games so far this season.
Oleg Kubarev’s side are in good form coming into the game winning three out of their last five matches however their one defeat came in the last round when they lost to Renova.
Gomel captain Nikolai Kashevski is the club’s top goalscorer this season with four.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Gomel 0-2 Liverpool
- 16.88 %
FC Gomel 0-3 Liverpool
- 14.95 %
FC Gomel 1-3 Liverpool
- 10.48 %
|Europa League (EL)||9 Aug 2012||Liverpool 3 - FC Gomel 0|
|Europa League (EL)||2 Aug 2012||FC Gomel 0 - Liverpool 1|
|Returns:||Gomel £560.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Draw £95.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Liverpool £15.30||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
Even without Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy, Liverpool should be too much for FC Gomel to handle. Rodgers will have his side fired up in his competitive bow and, despite their poor pre-season form, they will expect to take a comfortable lead back to Anfield.