FC Rabotnicki vs Liverpool

June 21, 2010 - Nyon, SWITZERLAND - epa02214375 The Europa League trophy is shown, prior the drawing of the games for the Europa League 2010/11 First qualifying round, at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Monday, June 21, 2010. (KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi.

Liverpool’s competitive season gets underway this Thursday night with a Europa League third qualifying round first leg against FK Rabotnicki in Macedonia. How depressing that it’s come to this!

Nevertheless, positive attitudes and all this, and now Roy Hodgson faces the media spotlight on the pitch for the first time with anything short of victory surely deemed a failure.

Hodgson though has dilemma – whether to risk his World Cup stars in this fixture. He doesn’t have all to choose from, but the likes of Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole will be considered, despite only returning to training last week.

Liverpool will be hoping for better fortunes than their opening two pre-season friendlies, in which they drew with Grasshoppers 0-0 in Switzerland and lost 1-0 to Kaiserslautern of Germany at the wekeend.

Rabotnicki have won the Macedonian league title three times in the last five years.

Kick-off at the Philip II Arena in Skopje is 7.45pm and the game is live on LFC TV. Check our forums for links to internet streams.