Gerrard rested for Hearts trip
Liverpool have decided to leave Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson out of their trip to Hearts.
Last Updated: 22/08/12 1:42pm
Liverpool have decided to leave captain Steven Gerrard, star striker Luis Suarez and key defenders Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson out of their trip to Hearts.
Also absent from the squad for Thursday's Europa League play-off is left-back Jose Enrique, who missed Saturday's defeat at West Bromwich Albion with a knee injury.
Joe Cole, who came off injured at The Hawthorns, is also not travelling while new signing Oussama Assaidi is ineligible as he featured for former club Heerenveen in an earlier round.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has made little secret of the fact his priority since arriving at Anfield is the Premier League and he has seemingly decided to rest his stars.
After the hugely disappointing defeat against West Brom, next on the agenda for Liverpool is a tough game against champions Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.
And with a further testing domestic fixture-list, which includes home games against Arsenal and Manchester United with a trip to Sunderland in between, Rodgers is taking no chances.
Liverpool would need to play 19 games to win the Europa League and when asked if there is a need to use all members of the squad, assistant manager Colin Pascoe told the club's official website: "Definitely, and that's the way you've got to look at it.
"With the squad and the players we have got here, it's fantastic so you have to rotate the players because you play on a Saturday, then a Thursday and a Sunday. So it's an opportunity for all the players to perform."
But Liverpool are not underestimating their game against Scottish Cup winners Hearts at Tynecastle.
Pascoe said: "Again, it's one of those banana skins and it's a great pull for them to play Liverpool.
"We are looking forward to it. It's two legs and we are going to be positive and try to win the tie up there, and then bring them back to Anfield for the same again."