Udinese defender Andrea Coda revealed he dreamt of playing at Anfield as a child and cannot wait to take on Liverpool at their historic stadium on Merseyside this week.

The Serie A side take on Brendan Rodgers’ charges in the Europa League group stages on Thursday and the 27-year-old centre-back will be especially excited to play there.

“Liverpool are a historic team. It is a fantastic stadium that when you're a child, you dream of playing in,” he told Tuttoudinese.it.

The Zebrette, like the Reds, have had a disappointing start to the season and will be looking for a decent run in the competition.

Poor early season performances included a Champions League playoff exit at the hands of Portuguese side Braga, but Coda believes a trip to a place as famed as Anfield makes up for that failure somewhat.

“The game mitigates somewhat the failure to qualify for the Champions League. We are ready for the challenge. We have a tough group, but is an important competition that must be honoured,” he added.

Rodgers’ rested a number of senior players in Liverpool’s previous Europa League group game, a 5-3 win at Young Boys of Bern, but the experience and danger in the Udinese squad may persuade him to field a stronger line-up.

Joe Cole could make his first appearance since picking up a hamstring injury in the opening day defeat to West Brom, the former Chelsea scored in a reserve game on Monday and will be hoping for some playing time.

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