Hodgson to rest stars
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed he will shuffle his pack for Thursday's clash with Napoli.
Last Updated: 20/10/10 11:01am
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed he will shuffle his pack for Thursday's Europa League clash with Napoli.
Hodgson, who finds himself under pressure at Anfield after a dismal start to the season, will continue with his policy of rotating his top players for the early stages of the Europa League
The Reds manager will rest some of his stars with this weekend's vital Premier League clash with Blackburn in mind.
"I'll leave some players out that's for sure. Some of the more important senior players won't travel because their participation on Sunday is going to be so important to us," he said.
"It's not just a question of playing three matches in a week it's also a question of injury. I don't think our squad is so strong that I can afford to risk them.
"But it'll still be a strong team we put out there and I think it's a chance for some players who have been on the fringes, like David Ngog and others like Ryan Babel who has had very few chances.
"It's yet another opportunity for these players to blast their way into the team and force me to look at them in a different light, to make sure they are players that are first on the list and not down the pecking order."
Liverpool's options are limited as Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger both remain on the sidelines.
The defensive duo were absent for Sunday's Merseyside derby defeat to Everton and they will again miss the trip to Naples.
Agger is struggling with illness, but Johnson could be available for the visit of Blackburn on Sunday.
Dirk Kuyt remains on the sidelines, but Hodgson is boosted by the return of Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen after he missed Sunday's reverse at Goodison Park.
"After being injured, Agger is now sick, so he has ruled himself out," added Hodgson.
"Dirk Kuyt has a wicked ankle injury. Everyone tells me it looks worse than it really is and I certainly hope that is the case because it does not look good. It is still very badly swollen.
"Christian Poulsen has recovered and is OK.
"Glen Johnson is still out injured but I saw he is running today and I would hope he would be back in training when we return on Friday. So he's not ruled out for Sunday - but is for Thursday."