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Liverpool v Zenit St Petersburg

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Rodgers: In for a tough task

Rodgers: In for a tough task

Liverpool welcome Zenit St Petersburg to Anfield on Thursday hoping to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit in the Europa League.

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The Reds are in for a tough challenge in their last-32 tie, having to score at least twice while keeping the Russians at bay to avoid conceding the dreaded away goal.

Brendan Rodgers was critical of some of his players in the first leg loss, but will be hoping to restore parity when they take to the pitch in front of the Anfield faithful.

And the former Swans boss will no doubt be hoping to carry the confidence gained from Sunday's 5-0 trouncing of Swansea into the potentially season-defining game for Liverpool.

On the team news front, Rodgers will be forced to replace Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, with both players cup-tied following January moves to Merseyside.

Martin Skrtel looks set to replace Jamie Carragher as he prepares to go up against his former club. Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen could return to the starting line-up following spells on the bench since the turn of the year.

Fabio Borini, however, will miss out after dislocating his shoulder in the victory over Swansea.

Meanwhile, Zenit coach Luciano Spelletti may leave first-leg scorer Sergey Semak on the bench, as the Italian is likely to stick with the same side that won in Russia a week ago.

The Russians have benefitted from an extended winter break in the domestic league, with no fresh injury concerns from the side that started at the Petrovsky Stadium.

Hulk looks set to lead the line once more, hoping to add to his first-leg effort to secure the crucial away goal.

Posted: 20/02/13 15:11

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