Liverpool FC boss defends squad selection for Anzhi clash

Liverpool manager Brendan RodgersBrendan Rodgers has defended his decision to drop several first team players for Liverpool FC‘s trip to Anzhi Makhachkala tonight.

The Kop boss has left the likes of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Nuri Sahin and Martin Skrtel at home and replaced them with young players such as Dani Pacheco, Danny Wilson, Conor Coady, Jon Flanagan and Adam Morgan.

But Rodgers believes his 19-man group in Moscow have enough to make it three wins from four in Europa League Group A and put one foot in the Round of 32.

He told Liverpool’s official website: “I have the utmost respect for Anzhi, but because our squad is very thin in numbers and we have a lot of games and young players, I have had to look at the games and which I can chance the squad around in.

“But if you look at the games in this competition, we’ve played three and won two games and have changed the squad around.

“We have a good squad here that we feel can get a result and then we can prepare them for this weekend’s massive league game [away to Chelsea].”

Liverpool won the reverse fixture 1-0 courtesy of a Stewart Downing finish two weeks ago, and Rodgers is confident his side can come away with another win under their belts.

“I respect how difficult this game is going to be, but we always play to win,” he added.

“Every game we play, we go out with the mentality to win the game – but, of course, you can’t always win. So if you can’t win, you don’t want to lose it. If that gets us a point, then great and we’ll move onto the next game.”

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