Liverpool will be without first-team regulars Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Daniel Agger, Jose Reina, Glen Johnson, Raheem Sterling and Jose Enrique when they travel to Russia to take on Anzhi Makhachkala, and continue their quest to qualify from a tightly-contested Europa League Group A.

Half-way through the group stages, and only three points separate Brendan Rodgers' top-placed side, and BSC Young Boys at the bottom of the table, making tonight's clash in eastern Europe even more important.

A 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Anfield, courtesy of a Stewart Downing strike, will give the Reds plenty of reason for optimism ahead of the encounter, while the inexperience of youngsters like Stephen Sama, Adam Morgan and Conor Coady - all included in the travelling party - also adds an air of uncertainty.

Step forward Downing, Jordan Henderson, and Joe Cole, who have been urged to take responsibility and impress for the three-time winners of the competition, under its former name of the UEFA Cup, in the hope that Liverpool can return with a positive result.

With one eye on Sunday's Premier League clash against Chelsea, Rodgers will be determined to breed confidence and get back to winning ways against Guus Hiddink's charges in Moscow on Thursday evening.

Predicted Liverpool starting XI:

Jones; Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Robinson; Shelvey, Henderson; Downing, Suso, Cole; Morgan.

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