Liverpool look to strong team to avoid embarrassing record

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will field a strong side against Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday evening in the hope of avoiding making Reds history for the wrong reasons.

Should Liverpool lose to Anzhi at Anfield, it would be the first time the club has ever lost consecutive home matches in European competition, following the 3-2 defeat to Udinese in their last outing in the Europa League.

Liverpool remain one of the most successful clubs in the history of European club football, with five triumphs in the European Cup a haul beaten only by AC Milan and Real Madrid.

Given Liverpool's illustrious past in continental competition, Rodgers will be desperate to avoid earning the tag of the first Reds manager to oversee successive defeats at Anfield, and is set to trust in his stars to get the job done against Anzhi.

"Anzhi are a strong unit. They are a big team with big players," said Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe to reporters.

"We have swapped and changed things around a bit before but, looking at this game, it is very important for us. We will pick a stronger team than we played against Udinese."

Anzhi, however, will pose Liverpool with an extreme test and could condemn Rodgers to the annals of Reds history for a reason he would rather forget, with the Russians having lost just one of 21 games this season.

Managed by Guus Hiddink, Anzhi can boast the likes of Samuel Eto'o, Lassana Diarra and Christopher Samba in an expensively assembled squad.

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