Andy Carroll is on the bench for Liverpool’s Europa League last 16 match with SC Braga in Portugal this evening (6pm kick off).
Joe Cole replaces Steven Gerrard in the line-up, while Jay Spearing and Christian Poulsen come into midfield.
Jamie Carragher starts at right back with Glen Johnson on the left.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos, Johnson, Lucas, Poulsen, Spearing, Cole, Meireles, Kuyt.
Subs: Gulacsi, Pacheco, Carroll, Wilson, Ngog, Maxi, Flanagan.
Braga: Artur Moraes, Miguel Garcia, Kaka, Rodriguez, Silvio, Leandro Salino, Hugo Viana, Alan, Mossoro, Paulo Cesar, Lima.
Subs: Cristiano, Paulao, Helder Barbosa, Meyong, Dani, Peterson, Anibal.
Picklive Preview: Braga v Liverpool – 6pm, Channel 5
When the reds look to take a step further down the road to Dublin this Thursday, This is Anfield readers could be making those ludicrously priced tickets a little easier to stomach thanks to Picklive.
Many of you have already tasted the sweet fruits of victory over the course of the last month, and you can continue to do so during tonight’s last sixteen clash in Braga. The drill is the same as always; join a live game during the match, pick the three players that you will believe will most influence the game, and watch them earn points for all of their actions on the pitch. The top scoring sides will win a share of the cashpot throughout the match.
If you are a student then there is even more reason to sign-up tonight, as by registering with a university e-mail address you will be eligible for additional prizes this evening. But whether you are watching tonight’s match from a crowded student house somewhere, your office, or at home after work – Picklive has once again provided some advice both on the players to pick, and the one to steer well away from.
Top Liverpool Pick
There is no doubt that Braga will pose more attacking threat than Sparta did during the last round, however the upshot of this will be to leave plenty of space for Liverpool to exploit. So in the absence of Steven Gerrard, Meireles may well be the best placed reds player to take advantage, expect him to make plenty of attacking contributions tonight.
Top Braga Pick
In a side assembled primarily from second rate Brazilians signed for a pittance, Hugo Vianna is the one star name. He may not be fondly remembered by Newcastle fans, but his creativity and wonderful passing eye has made him a star once again in his homeland. I wouldn’t expect to see Braga sit back and they will take heart and belief from their win over Arsenal in November, with Vianna at the hub of everything they do.
One to Avoid
Two of the Braga goalkeeper’s appearances on Picklive have been nothing short of a disaster, conceding six at the Emirates and making a couple of logic defying howlers in their victorious qualifier against Seville. Following the highly rated Eduardo’s departure to Genoa in the summer, Felipe has deputised all season, without ever looking comfortable at the highest level.