It has been a while since a weekend fixture against Blackburn Rovers was taken as a priority over a European adventure, this week in the form of Napoli, but that is the position that Liverpool find themselves in today, as Roy Hodgson prepares his side to face his former employers.
Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Raul Meireles and Lucas Leiva were all rested in favour of this fixture and didn’t travel to Naples, along with injured trio Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger who are expected to miss out again today. Fabio Aurelio may also come in for Paul Konchesky at left back.
Roy Hodgson commented on the injuries they are nursing ahead of the game:
“Glen is trying to be fit but it’s not looking good for Sunday at this moment in time.
“I haven’t ruled him out yet but I was hoping that when we returned from Napoli he would have been able to train on Friday. Unfortunately that’s not the case so we will have to see.
“If Glen doesn’t play then Jamie will play at right-back. Carragher will play anywhere you ask him and he is just a marvellous Liverpool player and club servant. He and Steven Gerrard are what Liverpool is all about.
“Jamie is a centre back and that is where I think he should be playing. I don’t like having to move him to full-back but it would be wrong to put young Kelly into the team and leave someone like Kyrgiakos or Skrtel out. We need the experience.”
“Daniel (Agger) had the calf problem and then felt sick so he has no chance of featuring on Sunday.”
Blackburn also need to make adjustments to their defensive line up as Chris Samba is suspended following his red card against Sunderland and Ryan Nelsen (thigh) faces a late fitness test along with striker Benjani (concussion).
Keith Andrew continues to be sidelined following a groin operation but former Red El Hadji Diouf, a £10m signing from Lens by Gerrard Houllier is expected to line up on the left hand side as Blackburn try to win at Anfield for the first time since 1993.
Liverpool have won only one of their last 10 league games and shipped nine goals in their last four league outings alone. Three points presently separates the sides, as Blackburn sit in 17th position in the table one above Liverpool. A big game it most certainly is as the pressure continues to mount on Roy Hodgson to deliver.
Liverpool: Reima, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Aurelio, Rodriguez, Leiva, Meireles, Cole, Gerrard, Torres.
Blackburn: Robinson, Givet, Nelsen, Salgado, Olsson, Nzonzi, Jones, Pedersen, Emerton, Diouf, Kalinic.
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