Hearts - Liverpool Preview: Rodgers looks for a response from his team in Europa League qualifier
The Reds travel to Edinburgh looking to bounce back from their disappointing 3-0 defeat at West Brom in their opening Premier League game of the season
By Rhys Turrell
Paterson, Webster, Zaliukas, Grainger
McGowan, Barr, Taouil
Novikovas, Sutton, Driver
Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Enrique
Henderson, Adam, Allen
Downing, Carroll, Sterling
Brendan Rodgers takes his Liverpool side to Tynecastle looking for a first-leg lead to take back to Anfield to ensure the Reds play in European competition this season - after missing out altogether last campaign.
However, the Northern Irishman looks to have half an eye on his side's daunting meeting with Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, with Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard both left at home.
With that in mind Rodgers may look to include some of his fringe squad members such as reserve goalkeeper Doni, veteran defender Jamie Carragher and young prospect Jonjo Shelvey.
Out-of-favour forward Andy Carroll, Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson may also feature after only making the bench in the Anfield club's defeat at West Brom at the weekend.
Hearts go into the game lying second in the Scottish Premier League after a win and two draws in their three league fixtures this season, however they will be disappointed by their showing last time out, when they let slip a 2-0 half-time lead at home to Inverness.
Unlike Rodgers, Hearts boss John McGlynn is not likely to rest many of his first-team squad as the Scottish club look to advance to the group stages of the Europa League for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
They will also look to fare better than in their last clash with English opposition following their heavy 5-0 defeat to Tottenham at the same stage last season.
Hearts' Lithuanian skipper Marius Zaliukas faces a battle to be fit for the clash at Tynecastle after suffering a dead leg in the draw with Inverness at the weekend.
The Jambos will be looking for their senior players such as former England Under-21 representative Andrew Driver to impress, whilst hoping striker and top-scorer John Sutton can finish any chances that come his way.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Hearts have never gone through in a European tie with the scores level on aggregate. They have gone out five times under the away goals rule.
- The Edinburgh side secured their place in European competition after hammering city rivals Hibs 5-1 in last season's Scottish Cup final.
- Hearts became the third Scottish and fifth British side to compete in European competition when they first participated in 1958.
- Liverpool qualified for the competition by defeating Championship side Cardiff City on penalties in last season's League Cup final (pictured right).
- The Reds are most successful British side in European history with five European Cups and three Uefa Cup wins.
- They have met Scottish competition on 12 occasions in European competitions registering six wins, three draws and three defeats.
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Top 3 Predictions
Hearts 0-2 Liverpool
- 16.52 %
Hearts 0-3 Liverpool
- 16.47 %
Hearts 1-3 Liverpool
- 10.21 %
|Europa League (EL)||30 Aug 2012||Liverpool 1 - Hearts 1|
|Europa League (EL)||23 Aug 2012||Hearts 0 - Liverpool 1|
|30 Aug 2012||Liverpool 1 - Hearts 1||EL|
|23 Aug 2012||Hearts 0 - Liverpool 1||EL|
|25 Aug 2011||Tottenham 0 - Hearts 0||EL|
|18 Aug 2011||Hearts 0 - Tottenham 5||EL|
|2 Oct 2010||Hearts 1 - Rangers 2||SPL|
The live-wire winger has played for England at junior levels and will be looking to impress any scouts watching on who think he can perform south of the border - after being touted with a move to the Premier League for several seasons. His pace and trickery may cause a few problems for the Reds' defence as he looks to feed main striker John Sutton.
The tenacious Scot wasn't given much of a chance at Rangers before being shipped out to Blackpool where he made his name and has since moved on to become an established Premier League player. If selected, the Scotland international will be eager to show fans north of the border he can cut it in Brendan Rodgers' new-look Liverpool team.
Hearts will want to take a lead with them to Anfield, but will have their work cut out against a Liverpool side who will be hungry to make up for their poor showing at West Brom at the weekend. It's unlikely to be a repeat of the 5-0 horror show against Tottenham last season for the Jambos, but Liverpool should still secure a comfortable win to take with them back to Merseyside.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed