Liverpool can take step towards Europa League progress against Young Boys
Liverpool could book their place in the knockout stage of the Europa League on Thursday with victory over Young Boys.
Last Updated: 22/11/12 10:30am
Liverpool could book their place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League if they can see off Young Boys and results elsewhere go their way.
The two sides head into Thursday's continental clash at Anfield locked together on six points from four games.
Liverpool sit second in the standings at present, a point adrift of Anzhi Makhachkala, but all four sides in Group A still harbour aspirations of securing a top-two finish.
The Reds will progress, though, if they see off Young Boys and Udinese come unstuck against Anzhi in the group's early kick-off.
While the competition may not be a priority for Brendan Rodgers' side this season, the Reds are taking it seriously enough to consider qualification a must.
The fact that Liverpool prevailed 5-3 over Young Boys back in September, on Swiss soil, suggests they should have enough to take another positive step on the European road in midweek.
They will, however, be taking nothing for granted, with Rodgers having warned his side against complacency against opponents who will arrive on Merseyside in the mind-set that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.Rodgers plans to make changes on Thursday, but with qualification a possibility he will look to retain some strength in his Liverpool starting XI.
The side will not be a second string like the team which lost to Anzhi in Moscow a fortnight ago, which means the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez could feature at some stage.
Midfielder Lucas Leiva is still not fully fit as he nurses his way back from the thigh injury which has kept him sidelined since August, and the Brazilian will play for the U21s on Friday as he steps up his rehabilitation.
Young Boys are set to be without Canadian winger Josh Simpson, who suffered a broken leg back in May.
Venezuelan forward Joseph Martinez and goalkeeper Ivan Benito are also missing as they struggle with thigh complaints.
Left-back Christophe Spycher (knee) and centre-half Jan Lecjaks (foot) may play some part at Anfield, but both are rated at 50-50 heading into the continental clash.