Liverpool will need to play as well as they did on Saturday in a 5-2 victory over Premier League club Norwich City if they expect to defeat a talented Udinese side in a Europa League group stage match at Anfield on Thursday.
Liverpool won their first Europa League group stage match 5-3 against Young Boys last month, but Thursday's contest versus an experienced Udinese squad will be a much tougher battle.
Captain Steven Gerrard and striker Luis Suarez must give a great performance for Liverpool to take three points. This duo was fantastic against Norwich over the weekend, combining four of the team's five goals.
Udinese hasn't given up more than two goals in a single match for a month, and the last opponent to have a lot of success against its defense was defending Seria A champions Juventus. Udinese has also kept two consecutive clean sheets in league play.
Saturday's victory was Liverpool's first in league play, and the first time the club had scored more than two goals against a league opponent this season.
The key for Liverpool will be to score the first goal and force Udinese to play a more open game than they would like.
If the Reds allow Udinese to strike first, the Italian club may choose to "park the bus" on defense and make it very difficult for Liverpool to equalize. This is a situation the Reds must avoid if they want a positive result.
A victory over a talented Udinese squad would be a huge boost for Liverpool in all competitions moving forward, and would take the English club another step closer in progressing to the next phase of the Europa League.
This is a competition that Liverpool has enough talent to win, and should be a top priority for manager Brendan Rodgers.
Let's look at every bit of information you need to watch the excitement from Anfield on Thursday.
When: Thursday, October 4 at 3:05 p.m. ET
Watch: Fox Soccer Channel, ITV 4
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2 Go
Where: Anfield, Liverpool, England
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