Steaua Preview

Liverpool are in Romania to face Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League knowing they need only a point to secure qualification to the next stage.

Joe Cole Liverpool 2010/11 Liverpool V FC Steaua Bucharest (4-1) 16/09/10 UEFA Europa League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

The corresponding fixture at Anfield in September saw Joe Cole open the scoring within 30 seconds, the England midfielder returns from injury this evening for Roy Hodgson’s team.

That match at Anfield saw a host of fringe players impress in a 4-1 win, David Ngog scoring two and Lucas Leiva adding a fourth late on.

Hodgson has rested Kuyt, Meireles and Torres for the trip and with Gerrard and Carragher sidelined it will be another opportunity for the likes of Ngog, Babel and some youngsters to impress. “I have faith in the young players and whatever happens on Thursday night I won’t lose faith in them,” said Hodgson.

“But it’s an opportunity for them to force their way into my attention even more.”

The back four is expected to feature young Martin Kelly at right back, with Soto Kyrgiakos and Danny Wilson in the middle and Fabio Aurelio at left back. Behind them will be Pepe Reina who will captain the side in Carra and Gerrard’s absence.

Expected line-up: Reina, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Wilson, Aurelio, Lucas, Maxi, Poulsen, Jovanovic, Babel, Ngog

Kick off tonight is 6pm, live on ESPN (UK).