Liverpool vs. Young Boys: Players Set to Shine in Epic UEFA Europa League Clash

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 22, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04:  Jonjo Shelvey of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Liverpool and Udinese at Anfield on October 4, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

There will be tons on the line at Anfield on Thursday when Premier League powerhouse Liverpool hosts Young Boys in a UEFA Europa League Group A showdown.

The two clubs are tied through four group matches with six points apiece, despite the Reds winning the first meeting 5-3 in Bern, Switzerland. Both teams are chasing group-leading Anzhi Makhachkala with just two matches left to play and can ill-afford to slip up.

Here, we get you set for Thursday's epic Europa League clash with a breakdown of a trio of players set to shine. 


Where: Anfield, Liverpool

When: Thursday, November 22, 2012

Start Time: 3:05 p.m. ET


Jonjo Shelvey, Liverpool

2012 UEFA Europa League Stats: 7 matches, 3 goals, 1 assist, 5 shots

Promising young midfield talent Jonjo Shelvey has an interesting name and an intriguing game. Not only can Shelvey pass the ball with ease and precision, but he is also proving to be anything but a one-hit wonder when it comes to scoring, doing so at an excellent rate.

The 20-year-old showed up big time for the Reds in their last meeting with Young Boys, scoring two late goals to put Liverpool ahead comfortably. Shelvey's increasing Europa League experience has clearly already begun to pay off.

Fans should watch for Shelvey to take over Thursday's match, especially with thousands of Liverpool supporters pumping him up from the stands. 


Raul Marcelo Bobadilla, Young Boys

2012 UEFA Europa League Stats: 8 matches, 6 goals, 2 assists, 7 shots

Twenty-five-year-old forward Raul Marcelo Bobadilla has been a stud for Young Boys in their last two Europa League matches, scoring a combined four goals, including a hat-trick against Udinese.

Although Bobadilla went scoreless against Liverpool in the two clubs' first meeting last September, he's on fire right now and poised for a goal. With Young Boys tied with the Reds in the Group A standings, expect a hard-fought effort from Bobadilla up top as he tries to peel the lid off Brendan Rodgers' defense.

Young Boys actually held a 3-2 lead over Liverpool an hour into the first match in Switzerland, before losing 5-3.

If Bobadilla has a dominant performance, they may be able to finish the task and earn a point or even three at Anfield on Thursday.


Stewart Downing, Liverpool

2012 UEFA Europa League Stats: 8 matches, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 shots

Veteran midfielder Stewart Downing has both invaluable club and international experience. To prove it, the 28-year-old has two goals for Liverpool in seven Europa League starts this year and seven assists in 34 career appearances for the England national team.

The former Aston Villa winger was subbed out of Liverpool's first matchup with Young Boys before scoring or assisting, but given his recent success against Udinese and Anzhi, fans should look for him to impact the outcome in some way or another on Thursday.

Watch for Downing to send solid balls into the box when given the opportunity. He is one of the Premier League's best passers and smoothest operators on either flank.


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