Roy Hodgson wary of strong Steaua

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Roy Hodgson believes his Liverpool team will find it difficult to break down a well-organised Steaua Bucharest side when the two outfits meet in Thursday's Europa League clash at Anfield.

The Romanian side have an impressive European pedigree, including a European Cup victory in 1986 and run to the final three years later.

Liverpool have started the campaign in a mediocre manner and were particularly toothless in attack on Sunday in the goalless draw against Birmingham City.

Hodgson said in the build-up to the match:"I checked up on it – Steaua Bucharest have played 232 matches in Europe.

"They have won a Champions League, been finalists and have won 23 league titles – so please don't try to suggest they have no chance of getting a result tonight.

"We've only had a little while to assess them. I've been quite impressed with their two central midfield players. That is a strong part of their team and the two centre-forwards are good too.

"They are a well-organised team and, from what we've seen of them, we know we will have an interesting and important game on our hands, but that's what you want.

"You don't play in the Europa League to play against poor opponents. If I do change the team tonight then I want the players to go out there and perform against top-class opposition.

"There's no point me watching them play against poor opposition because that might fool me into thinking they are better than they are.

"So, tonight we will play against a top-class team and I'm sure it will be a very good game. Hopefully we will come out on top."

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