Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

Brendan Rodgers backs decision to leave out Liverpool star names for Europa League clash

By Staff Reporter

Liverpool striker Christian Benteke is one of a number of big names manager Brendan Rodgers is resting for their Europa League opener in Bordeaux tonight (6pm BST).

The £32.5million summer signing has been left behind on Merseyside along with fellow new arrivals James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne, plus first-choice centre-backs Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren and midfielder Lucas Leiva.

That means Mamadou Sakho is set for his first appearance of the season alongside Kolo Toure in what is likely to be a much-changed back four.

Up front, Belgium striker Divock Origi is in line for the first start of his Liverpool career. Rodgers denied that his selection policy was disrespectful to Europe's second tier competition.

Bordeaux v Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers ready to place faith in extended squad with Irish teenager Daniel Cleary (19) braced for action

"My approach is the same as the first season when I came in when we played players who were needing games, but some young players as well," said the Ulsterman.

"We did it back then when we were first in the Europa League and we finished top of the group and qualified. That's the objective again.

"I'll pick a team to win the game. We have a lot of games coming up over the next couple of months and I have every confidence that every team I put out for every game is capable of winning."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph