Liverpool v Trabzonspor – Europa League – Kick-off 7:45pm
Roy Hodgson said that the Europa League would be prioritised some way below the Premier League this season and for tonight’s play-off first leg he’s certainly not picked his strongest side.
Only one of the back-four survives from Sunday’s draw. Daniel Agger has been suffering from concussion since that game and is replaced by Fabio Aurelia at left-back. Johnson makes way for Kelly and Skrtel makes way for Kyrgiakos but Carragher keeps his place and will be captain tonight.
Carra’s got the armband because Gerrard is rested along with Mascherano, meaning Lucas will partner new signing Christian Poulsen in the centre of midfield.
Joe Cole is suspended for three league games so he gets a start tonight, along with Maxi and Jovanovich, with Ryan Babel set to start up front. Torres and Ngog are on the bench.
One first-choice player who starts is Pepe Reina and if he’s true to his usual form his mistake on Sunday against Arsenal will be long forgotten.
Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Aurelio, Lucas, Poulsen, Cole, Maxi, Jovanovic, Babel.
Subs: Cavalieri, Torres, Wilson, Ngog, Spearing, Skrtel, Pacheco.