Liverpool’s manager Rafael Benitez has recognised the strength of opposition side Reading and picked a relatively strong side for tonight’s Carling Cup tie at the Madjeski Stadium.
In defence the manager has given Sami Hyypia a rest, with ever-present Alvaro Arbeloa switching to centre-back from full-back, and Fabio Aurelio has been named for his first start since returning from injury. Carragher and Finnan take the other two places in the back four, with Charles Itandje making his debut in goal in place of the rested Pepe Reina.
Midfield sees a chance handed to new youngsters Lucas and Leto, with Sissoko and Benayoun also lining up. The surprise is up front, with £18m Fernando Torres linining up alongside Peter Crouch.
The tie will be decided tonight, on penalties if needed, as there are no replays in the Carling Cup these days.
Reading: 32 Federici, 14 Halls, 29 Duberry, 22 Bikey, 3 Shorey, 23 De la Cruz, 15 Harper, 17 Convey, 20 Fae, 24 Long, 8 Lita
Subs: 1 Hahnemann, 4 Cisse, 10 Hunt, 12 Kitson, 34 Henry
Liverpool: 30 Itandje, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 17 Arbeloa, 12 Aurelio, 33 Leto, 22 Sissoko, 21 Lucas, 11 Benayoun, 15 Crouch, 9 Torres
Subs: 40 Martin, 6 Riise, 8 Gerrard, 46 Hobbs, 35 Putterill
Referee: Martin Atkinson