Utrecht vs Liverpool Match Preview

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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.

Liverpool’s first ever trip to Dutch side Utrecht this Thursday night in the Europa League will see the Reds looking to take six points from their opening two games of the group stages of the competition.

For Dirk Kuyt, it will be a warm return to the club he began his footballing career at back in 1998. The Dutch international forward played for Utrecht for five years, before switching to Feyenoord in 2003. [Read More]

Roy Hodgson’s men will be looking to bounce back from a string of poor results domestically, having lost to Manchester United and drawn with Sunderland in the Premier League, and an embarrassing Carling Cup exit at the hands of Northampton Town.

But the manager faces somewhat of a problem in defence, with no left-backs fit to play. Paul Konchesky is suffering from a hamstring strain picked up in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland, whilst the elusive Fabio Aurelio is still carrying an achilles problem picked up in last month’s Europa League qualifier against Trabzonspor. And with Daniel Agger out injured, Hodgson has limited options. Martin Kelly is likely to deputise.

Steven Gerrard also misses the trip, and with a must-win Premier League clash at home to Blackpool on Sunday afternoon, Hodgson could be forgiven for resting some of the bigger players of the team.

However, earlier this week the new Reds boss hinted that he will use the game to see more of Fernando Torres, Raul Meireles and Dirk Kuyt, whom he thought linked up well together against the Mackems.

David N’gog could be in line to miss out on a starting place, despite his impressive form in front of goal this season.

Liverpool squad to face Utrecht: Reina, Jones, Johnson, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Carragher, Shelvey, Poulsen, Lucas, Rodriguez, Spearing, Babel, Meireles, Jovanovic, Cole, Kuyt, Eccleston, Ngog, Torres.

Utrecht vs Liverpool gets underway at 6pm on Thursday, 30th September.

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