Joe Cole gets a rare Liverpool start tonight as the Reds go looking to progress in the Europa League with the visit of Sparta Prague to Anfield.
With the tie poised at 0-0 from last week’s dull goalless affair in the Czech Republic, Kenny Dalglish has given Cole the chance to impress in this early 6pm kick-off.
Daniel Agger also returns to action, starting for the Reds this evening, after recovering from injury, with Jamie Carragher dropping to he bench. There’s also a start for young Scottish defender Danny Wilson.
Christian Poulsen partners Lucas in midfield, whilst David N’gog gets the nod up front supported by Dirk Kuyt.
Steven Gerrard has been rested through caution as he continues to recover to full fitness from a recent groin strain. Dalglish will be wary that an unpredictable encounter away to West Ham on Sunday awaits the players.
Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Wilson, Agger, Kyrgiakos, Meireles, Lucas, Poulsen, Kuyt, Cole, Ngog. Subs: Gulacsi, Pacheco, Jovanovic, Maxi, Carragher, Spearing, Skrtel.
For those of you thought that fantasy football was something that you entered at the start of the season and then go bored of by Christmas – think again. Picklive is traditional fantasy football on acid, games last just five minutes and you play in real-time during televised matches.
To get started simply visit thisisanfield.picklive.com during tonight’s games and sign-up for a free trial. By picking the three players who you think will contribute the most to the action within a five minute period, This is Anfield readers could be winning cash prizes throughout tonight’s match.
Maybe you are enough of a footballing afficionado to strike out on your own , but if not then here is some friendly insiders advice from Picklive:
Top Liverpool Pick
This may seem like a choice from the leftfield, but the much maligned Brazilian’s tidy and uncomplicated passing style means he racks up the points quickly and regularly. In a game in which Liverpool will see plenty of the ball, Lucas should be at the hub of everything that the home side does, meaning rarely will a five minute game go by without him making a steady contribution.
Top Sparta Pick
The former Reading midfield top scored for the Czechs in the first leg, and is without doubt the main threat to Liverpool’s smooth progression into the next round. Matejovsky is willing to let fly from absolutely anywhere, and although he once netted a screamer at Anfield, he is equally likely to blaze one high into the Kop. Luckily though his sheer persistence in letting fly means you earn points regardless of his success.
Man to Avoid
In a game of fine margins, a defender as rash as Repka must be avoided. The former West Ham man epitomises the phrase ‘agricultural defending’ – half of the time he possesses a woeful timing of the challenge, and the other he is just plain aggressive. The result – he will lose shed-loads of points for fouls and (probably) for cards.
Everybody has their own strategy, some like to score a steady stream of points by choosing defensive minded players, and centre halves; others prefer to pick three flair players and wait for them to produce some creative attacking magic. Whatever your tactic, this is an unmissable opportunity to get in on an act that is revolutionising the way that we watch live sport.
Kick-off at Anfield is 6pm and it’s live on five for those not going to the game. Check our Liverpool FC forums for links to live internet streams of the game. All ticket for the game have now sold out.