(Sporting Alert) — Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers named a very strong team for tonight’s Europa League last-32 first leg tie against Zenit St Petersburg at Petrovski Stadium.
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Included in the Liverpool starting team are captain Steven Gerrard and striker Luis Suarez, two players who normally would have gotten the night off in the past.
Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson will play alongside Gerrard in midfield, while Stewart Downing and the returning Raheem Sterling will partner Suarez in the attack.
Jose Reina, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson all start as well in a game that Liverpool are looking to win to take an advantage into the second leg when the English Premier League side play at Anfield.
Lucas Leiva and Jonjo Shelvey, who both started in the defeat on Monday against West Bromwich are both on the bench tonight
The Reds are without January recruits Daniel Sturridge and forward Philippe Coutinho, who were both left at home as they are ineligible.
Liverpool will certainly have their hands full today with Zenit also suiting up a top team which includes Hulk, Danny, Axel Witsel, Roman Shirokov and Aleksandr Kerzhakov all amongst the starters.
Zenit St Petersburg v Liverpool
Zenit St Petersburg: Malafeev, Aniukov, Luis Neto, Lombaerts, Hubocan, Shirokov, Denisov, Witsel, Hulk, Kerzhakov, Danny
Subs: Zhevnov, Faitzulin, Rodic, Lukovic, Semak, Djordjevic, Evseev
Liverpool team: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Carragher, Enrique, Allen, Henderson, Gerrard, Downing, Sterling, Suarez.
Subs: Jones, Coates, Lucas, Borini, Shelvey, Suso, Wisdom.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)