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Liverpool's big guns are back for Roy Hodgson’s home debut

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has no qualms about bringing back his big names for tonight’s Europa League third qualifying round second-leg tie against Rabotnicki.

Despite holding a 2-0 lead from last week's match in Macedonia the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and new signing Joe Cole are likely to be involved having made their first pre-season appearances in a friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach at the weekend.

Argentina international Maxi Rodriguez could be in the squad despite having returned from his post-World Cup break only 10 days ago.

Wantaway midfielder Javier Mascherano will not be selected as he was not registered for the early stages of the competition, whereas Hodgson admits they took a chance on the England contingent and Rodriguez being ready.

Spain duo Fernando Torres and Jose Reina and Holland pair Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel will not be considered as they only returned to training on Monday.

“I will put out the strongest team out it is possible to put out,” said Hodgson, who confirmed yesterday that he is preparing a bid for Juventus’ defensive midfielder Christian Poulsen. “We are stronger on paper than we were in the first game because players that I did not consider using have now played at least 45 minutes on Sunday.

“That gives me a chance to throw them into the game. There are a few that are just back to Melwood after their holidays and we won't be risking them of course.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph