Liverpool are set to ditch their Europa League rotation policy in the face of their upcoming clash against Anzhi Makhachkala, assistant manager Colin Pascoe has revealed.
The Merseyside outfit currently occupy third place in Group A, behind both the Russian team and Udinese, with three points from their opening two games and a positive result on Thursday night is seen as an absolute must.
However, after losing 3-2 against the Italian outfit at Anfield earlier this month and with injuries starting to pile up, Pascoe admits Brendan Rodgers’ hand may be forced into relying on some of the more senior members of the squad this time around.
“Anzhi are a strong unit. They are a big team with big players,” Pascoe told 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.
With three games inside a week, including an away trip to local rivals Everton and a home game against Rodgers’ former club Swansea to contend with, Pascoe admits that the situation is far from ideal but Anzhi’s form means they simply cannot make the wholesale changes that they might have done otherwise.
He added: “It is a difficult [situation]. After Anzhi we have got games against Everton, Swansea [in the League Cup], Newcastle, Anzhi away and then Chelsea.
“We will have to mix things up depending on the games. But we want to win this one. It is as simple as that.
“Anzhi have lost one in 21 games overall this season. There’s only one way they are going to go and that’s Champions League.
“It’s a strong group but if you want to do well in every competition you have to beat the best teams.”