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Liverpool Vs Blackburn Rovers, Sun 24 Oct 2010

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Live Team Sheet

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Konchesky, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Gerrard, Cole, Torres.

Subs: Jones, Jovanovic, Babel, Ngog, Poulsen, Shelvey, Kelly.

Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Jones, Givet, Olsson, Emerton, Nzonzi, Pedersen, El-Hadji Diouf, Dunn, Kalinic.

Subs: Bunn, Grella, Mwaruwari, Hoilett, Morris, Chimbonda, Mame Diouf.




Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is set to revert to his strongest line-up for Sunday's visit of Blackburn after resting a number of players in midweek.

Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles and Lucas Leiva are all set to return after being left at home for the Europa goalless draw against Napoli in Italy.

Defender Jamie Carragher came off at half-time in that game and needs to be given the all-clear to play but right-back Glen Johnson is set to return after missing the last two games with a hamstring problem.

Centre-back Daniel Agger missed the trip because of illness but could come back into the squad.

Forward Dirk Kuyt is still at least a couple of weeks away from returning from an ankle injury.

Hodgson believes the club's struggles this season will make them a stronger unit over time.

The 63-year-old faces former club Blackburn knowing his side have to put in a performance after just one victory in eight Premier League matches.

Liverpool's position in the relegation zone is unfamiliar territory for a club which is used to regularly finishing in the top four and excelling in Europe.

At the moment, just qualifying for next season's Europa League would be an achievement but Hodgson remains confident his team will rise to the challenge and prove their - and his - critics wrong.

"I think we are getting stronger as a team and a squad and we are becoming more organised in the sense of how I would like to see us organised," he told Press Association Sport.

"As far as I am concerned it is still a work in progress and we have an awful lot of rebuilding to do.

"But having gone to Naples after a derby defeat and getting a good goalless draw with a team no-one expected to get that is positive going into the game on Sunday.

"What we need is a bit of luck. When you are down there and you are not getting the victories the pressure builds up and confidence takes a battering and everyone starts to question things.

"There is lots of speculation and negative things being said but we understand that. It is par for the course and that is what football is.

"But the only way you can get out of it is keep working hard, keep trying to get those results and then hopefully, when you have done it, it will make you stronger for it.

"Most of the players and myself are more accustomed to pats on the back than kicks in the teeth but we also know that in football kicks in the teeth are part of the game.

"What you do is try to keep as many teeth as you can and try to get on with it."

Christopher Samba is suspended but Ryan Nelsen may have recovered from a thigh injury picked up on international duty.

Keith Andrews (groin), Jason Roberts (ankle) and Vince Grella (hamstring) are out.

New recruit Herold Goulon, who signed a two-year deal after a successful trial period, will not feature as he awaits international clearance.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce believes Liverpool counterpart Hodgson deserves time to address the Reds' on-field ills - but is hoping to add to them.

Liverpool have finally completed a protracted change of ownership and Allardyce insists Hodgson cannot be blamed for all Liverpool's failings so far this season.

"I always thought this would be a year of transition for a club that has sold off a lot of its players and Roy has a huge task, but I didn't think they would have as few points as they have at the moment," said the Blackburn manager.

"All the pressure of the takeover and the money situation has obviously affected the team.

"There's a healthy atmosphere in a football club that you can feel that there's something great and it's building, and there's the opposite which has created a knock to that normal Liverpool feeling.

"It's one of the institutions of football made great by the late, great Bill Shankly and that has declined now, the feeling has been lost and it's a great shame, and that's what they must grasp back.

"It's not just down to Roy Hodgson, it's the structure of the club as a whole, building the atmosphere back.

"I feel for Roy, he seems to be bearing the brunt of the blame. If he gets enough time he will get it right."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Liverpool

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