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Hodgson to Rest Liverpool Stars for Utrecht Tie

With one eye on his side’s weekend fixture against Fulham, Reds boss Roy Hodgson will rest key players for the final Europa League Group K game.

Having guaranteed their progression into the last 32 of the competition last week against Steaua, Liverpool have the option to field an inexperienced side against the Dutch club, who despite being bottom, could also progress depending on the groups other fixture.

The one forced change for Hodgson to consider is the absence of striker David N’Gog, who suffered a cut to his eye during Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Newcastle. Milan Jovanovic, who scored Liverpool’s goal in their last Europa League fixture, is expected to start in his absence.

Steven Gerrard will not be selected, despite regaining match fitness, but is expected to make an appearance in the Premier League on Saturday. Joe Cole, who played 75 minutes last week, could start the game after not featuring in the Newcastle match. Jonjo Shelvey is also expected to be included in the starting 11.

With more rumours surfacing late on Sunday regarding Hodgson’s future, he will be hoping for a comfortable victory to take the pressure off after the club were convincingly beaten 3-1 by Newcastle on Saturday. The manager himself has said he has “no concerns” over his position:

“It doesn't bother me because I can't do more than I am doing, I can't work harder, I can't work better,” said the 63-year-old manager. “I have great confidence in my ability; I don't think there is any reason not to have. I know the players are working as hard as they can to win matches for Liverpool and therefore me as manager.”

“Had we been top of the league it might have been different but we are not, we are ninth. You don't have to be Albert Einstein to work out more people will be unhappy with that than are happy with it.”

Liverpool are, unsurprisingly, still odds-on favourites to win the match, priced at 2/5 for the win. A correct score of 2-1 is 15/2, whilst both Maxi and Joe Cole are 11/4 to score in the match.

Bet Highlight

A drab 0-0 first half followed by two second half Liverpool goals is priced at 15/1

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