Liverpool – Zenit Preview: Reds looking to overturn two-goal first-leg deficit

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will be forced to make at least two changes from the side which beat Swansea City 5-0 on Sunday – with both Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho cup-tied after appearing in Europe earlier in the season for Chelsea and Inter respectively.

Martin Skrtel could come in to face his former club in place of Jamie Carragher, while Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling may well also get an opportunity to impress from the start. Fabio Borini misses out after being ruled out for the rest of the season after dislocating his shoulder against the Swans.

For the visitors, Luciano Spalletti could well name the same starting line-up as that which started the first-leg tie in Russia. This would mean scorer Sergey Semak will again have to settle for a place on the bench.

Axel Witsel is poised to start in midfield alongside Danny and Igor Denisov, while Hulk will again be expected to support Aleksandr Kerzhakov by coming in from his wide position.

  • Martin Skrtel made 92 appearances and scored three goals for Zenit before moving to Anfield in 2007.
  • The Reds have won the Uefa Cup (now the Europa League) three times – back in 1973, 1976 and 2001.
  • Aleksandr Korsakov (pictured right), has an impressive scoring record for the club – he has netted 52 times in 94 matches so far.
  • Zenit won the Uefa Cup back in 2008 – when they beat Rangers 2-0 in the final at Manchester City’s stadium.
  • Current boss Luciano Spalletti has been in control of the club since taking over in December 2009. He has previously managed a host of Italian sides including Sampdoria, Udinese and Roma.

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