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UEFA Europa League

  • 25 October 2012
  • • 20:05
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: B. Nijhuis
  • • Attendance: 39358

Liverpool - Anzhi Makhachkala Preview: Merseysiders look to bounce back from Udinese defeat

Liverpool - Anzhi Makhachkala Preview: Merseysiders look to bounce back from Udinese defeat

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Following their previous Group A loss at Anfield, Brendan Rodgers' men are in need of three points against the big-spending Russian outfit to ease their fears of not advancing



Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Enrique
Henderson, Sahin, Shelvey
Downing, Suarez, Assaidi

Agalarov, Samba, Tagirbekov, Zhirkov
Jucilei, Shatov, Carcela-Gonzales,
Bousouffa, Traore, Eto'o

With the eagerly anticipated Merseyside derby with Everton on the horizon, Brendan Rodgers will again look to rotate his squad for the Europa League as he prepares for the visit of in-form Russian moneybags Anzhi.

Rodgers' hand has been forced somewhat by the injuries to Pepe Reina (hamstring), Martin Kelly (knee) and Fabio Borini (foot), all of whom would have surely played in this fixture. The likes of Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling could all be rested.

In their place should come fringe squad members such as Jamie Carragher, Sebastien Coates, Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing. However, without any other senior striker available to them, Luis Suarez looks set to lead the line once again for the Reds.

Big-spending Anzhi, led by former Netherlands and Russia coach Guus Hiddink, have impressed in the Russian league this season and currently top the standings by two points from CSKA Moscow.

Hiddink could make only one change from the starting XI that secured a 2-1 victory over title rivals Spartak Moscow at the weekend, with France international midfielder Lassana Diarra (knee) dropping out.

In Christopher Samba and Yuriy Zhirkov the Dagestan outfit have players who will have competed at Anfield before, while their attack is set to be spear-headed by African legend Samuel Eto'o, reportedly the highest-paid player in world football.

  • Liverpool have only won six games at home in the whole of 2012, none of which have been in European competition.
  • Stewart Downing may have failed to either score or assist in the Premier League since arriving at Anfield, but the winger has contributed a goal and three assists in Europe this season.
  • Liverpool won this competition under the guise of the Uefa Cup back in 2001 as part of a "treble" season that included both FA and League Cup triumphs.
  • Brad Jones is set to make only his eighth start for Liverpool despite arriving in the summer of 2010, three of those have come in the Europa League.
  • If Liverpool lose on Thursday, it will be the first time in their history that they have suffered two consecutive home defeats in Europe.
  • Anzhi are on a four-match winning streak and are currently unbeaten in all competitions since August 12.
  • Samuel Eto'o is currently this season's Europa League top goalscorer, with seven strikes to his name.
  • Anzhi centre-back Christopher Samba once lined up as a lone striker for Blackburn in their 4-0 defeat at Anfield in April 2009.
  • This is Anzhi's first participation in European competition since the 2001-02 season, where they were defeated by Scottish side Rangers. The match was chosen to be played on a one-legged affair at a neutral venue in Warsaw, Poland due to the unstable situation in Chechnya.
  • Anzhi's Yuriy Zhirkov only started once against Liverpool during his two-year spell at Chelsea, coming at Anfield in a 2-0 home victory courtesy of a Fernando Torres (who now plays for Chelsea) double.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Europa League ‎(EL)‎ 8 Nov 2012 Anzhi Makhachkala 1 - Liverpool 0
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Europa League ‎(EL)‎ 25 Oct 2012 Liverpool 1 - Anzhi Makhachkala 0
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Bradley JonesGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
47Andre Wisdom Defender
18Nuri SahinMidfielder
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
19Stewart DowningMidfielder
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
9Luis SuárezStriker
24Oussama AssaidiStriker
42Peter GulacsiGoalkeeper
23Jamie CarragherDefender
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
24Joe AllenMidfielder
31Raheem SterlingMidfielder
36Samed YeşilStriker
-Vladimir GabulovGoalkeeper
22Christopher SambaDefender
-Joao Carlos Pinto ChavesDefender
6Mbark BoussoufaMidfielder
7Kamil AgalarovMidfielder
-Oleg ShatovMidfielder
11M. CarcelaMidfielder
18Yuri ZhirkovMidfielder
80Georgiy GabulovMidfielder
9Samuel Eto'oStriker
-Fedor SmolovStriker
43Evgeny PomazanGoalkeeper
3Ali GadzhibekovDefender
13Rasim TagirbekovDefender
-Arseniy LogashovDefender
-Yama SharifiMidfielder
10Shamil LakhiyalovStriker
9Lacina TraoreStriker
Players to Watch
Oussama Assaidi
Oussama Assaidi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 24
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The Liverpool wideman has not been afforded much game time since his low-key summer arrival from Heerenveen but when he has played, the Moroccan has caught the eye with his pace, trickery and direct running.

He produced an outstanding individual performance in the Reds' League Cup tie at West Brom last month and could be crucial in just halting the inevitable attacking charges from opposition left-back Yuriy Zhirkov.
Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
It is hard to look beyond the most decorated player in African football history as the man to watch from Guus Hiddink's side. Many will have suspected the ex-Barcelona and Inter striker's career to be on the wane when he made the surprising move to Anzhi in the summer of 2011. However, the 31-year-old's taste for goals and success has shown no signs of abating with 26 in 40 appearances for the club, making it safe to say that the ageing Jamie Carragher will certainly have his hands full at the back for Liverpool.

Despite the expected changes, Rodgers will want to ensure his side go into the weekend’s Merseyside derby with confidence. However, Anzhi have been in red hot form and, with their attacking talent, could cause Liverpool some serious problems. The Anfield factor may just subdue the Russians somewhat so the two sides could cancel each other out.

Editor's Prediction

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