Next Up: Atletico Madrid (a)

Liverpool face a difficult trip to the Spanish capital this Thursday night, reportedly via Paris and Bordeaux due to the volcanic ash cloud that is hovering over most of Western Europe.

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Daniel Agger in action against Atletico last season

And the Reds travel without former Atletico striker Fernando Torres, who learnt this week that he will miss the rest of the season for the club and faces a race against time to be fit for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.

But Liverpool do go into this Europa League semi-final first leg fresh off the back of a 3-0 victory over West Ham at Anfield, which although wasn’t pretty, will give the team a timely confidence boost.

Maxi Rodriguez is ineligible to play on Thursday, whilst David Ngog will be hoping he keeps his place in the starting line-up.

Rafa Benitez is also without defenders Martin Skrtel, Fabio Aurelio and Emiliano Insua.

Liverpool lost a pre-season friendly to Atletico back in August, going down 2-1 at Anfield, whilst the two sides also met twice in last season’s Champions League group stages, drawing 1-1 on both occasions.

A place in the Europa League final in Hamburg awaits the winner of the tie. They will face the winner of Hamburg vs Fulham.

Kick-off at the Vicente Calderon is 8.05pm and it’s live on five in the UK.