Next Up: Trabzonspor (h)

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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.

The first round of matches in the stupidly formatted Europa League sees Liverpool play a two-legged play-off against Turkish side Trabzonspor, beginning at Anfield this Thursday evening.

After disposing of Macedonians FK Rabotnicki in the qualifying round, Roy Hodgson’s men continue their Europa journey in a game inconveniently placed just a few days into the new domestic season.

David Ngog will be hoping to continue his fine goalscoring form, having scored four times for the Reds in just three games already this season.

Hodgson is unlikely to risk Fernando Torres, who made an appearance as a second half substitute against Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday.

There could, however, be a debut for new midfield signing Christian Poulsen after the Danish international completed a £4.5million move from Juventus.

The Reds have only ever played Trabzonspor twice before, over two legs in the second round of the 1976/77 European Cup. Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners on aggregate back then.

Liverpool vs Trabzonspor gets underway at 7.45pm on Thursday night and is live on ITV 1. There’ll be more team news on This Is Anfield this week, so watch this space.

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