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Refreshed Reds Relish Return Fixture against Prague

Liverpool's Martin Kelly


Liverpool return to action on Thursday having had a week’s rest prior to their last 32 2nd leg Europa League match against the Czech Republic’s Sparta Prague.

Manager Kenny Dalglish looks set to be without club captain Steven Gerrard, who has suffered an injury-plagued campaign this year. Despite being named in the squad, he looks set to be rested for the third game in a row, as he continues to recover from a groin injury. He joins Fabio Aurelio (injury) and Luis Suarez is (cup-tied) on the sidelines.

“Much as Steven would love to play and we'd love to have him, I think we've got to think a bit longer term than just one game,” Dalglish explained to the club’s website.

“I think we've got to be consistent in our approach to things. If we can get by without Steven, then we will do.”

It may be considered a setback that Gerrard is now only expected to return in Sunday’s match against West Ham, but Liverpool will be able to call upon returning players Daniel Agger, Jay Spearing, Martin Kelly and Martin Skrtel to try and help them progress to the next round of European football; a competition that is increasingly proving to be the highlight of a rather low season for the Reds.

Rumours were surfacing earlier in the week that new record signing Andy Carroll may be in line to deputise for his new club, however any possibilities were quashed by Dalglish in his midweek press conference.

The former Newcastle striker has been out for over six weeks with a thigh injury, and no date has been scheduled for his return to football.

Dirk Kuyt will be favourite to start in an attacking role, hoping to impress management as he looks to secure a new contract with the Merseyside club. The Dutchman has one goal in four Europa League games this season.



All Competitions:
Liverpool: WWWDD (5 goals for, 1 against)
Sparta: DDLLD (5 goals for, 8 against)

Europa League:
Liverpool: DWDDD (4 goals for, 2 against)
Sparta: DWDDD (9 goals for, 7 against)

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