Liverpool will be without vice captain Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho for their Europa League clash with Besiktas. The Brazilian has started 19 straight games and calls for him to be rested have been made by the Reds fans as despite his screamer against Southampton last weekend, he has looked jaded. Henderson on the other hand, is nursing a minor ankle injury which is the reason for him being left out of the trip. He is expected to be fit for the big game against Manchester City on the weekend.
a Ia ve had to leave out young Coutinho. He hasna t travelled with us,a Brendan Rodgers confirmed in his pre-match conference.
a Hea s an outstanding young player for us, a key player and hea s played a lot of games consecutively for us.
a This was a game that Ia d earmarked to give him some recovery in knowing he can stay at home, not travel and prepare and get ready for the weekend.
a Wea ve also picked up a few injuries a Jordan has a knock. The rest of the guys are either young or havena t played a great deal.a
Injury to Henderson would mean Emre Can is offered the opportunity of a midfield role for Liverpool in the Europa League tie against Besiktas. Can was bought as a midfielder in the summer and is most suited in that role, but his versatility to perform in different roles means he has been predominately employed as a right-sided centre back in Brendan Rodgers’ favoured 3-4-2-1 formation.
Kolo Toure could return for his first start in this match lining up alongside Skrtel and Lovren.
Glen Johnson is also ruled out of the game as he is still suffering with illness, while Mamadou Sakho has not yet recovered from the hip injury which ruled him out of last Sunday’s Premier League trip to Southampton. Dejan Lovren is expected to line up against Besiktas in Sakho’s absence. The much maligned Croat would want to do well and capitalize on the few chances he will get because of injuried and suspensions to other players.
Captain Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva are still missing with hamstring and thigh issues respectively while Lazar Markovic would be missing after he received a four match ban for a red card against FC Basel.
With as many as seven senior players missing, some youngsters will get a chance to feature in the game at some point of time.
Youngsters Jordan Lussey and Jordan Williams have travelled, while fellow U21 starlets Ryan Fulton, Cameron Brannagan and Jerome Sinclair will join up with the squad in Turkey, after featuring in the UEFA Youth League defeat to Benfica on Tuesday afternoon.
Predicted Line-up: Mignolet; Toure, Skrtel, Lovren; Ibe, Allen, Can, Moreno; Lallana, Sterling; Sturridge.