- (Photo: Reuters/Phil Noble)
Liverpool vs Anzhi Makhachkala takes place Thursday in the Europa League in Group A. It is top vs bottom in the group and the outcome could have a big impact as to who progresses from this group. All the action can be watched online for free through live stream (details below).
Liverpool are currently top of the group with two wins and a loss from their opening three games giving them six points. Anzhi are second with just four points from their opening three games following a win, a draw, and a loss. If Anzhi can win today at home they will leapfrog Liverpool into first place.
The Reds will not want to take this too easily, but manager Brendan Rodgers has decided to leave out two of Liverpool's top players - Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. They have not been taken to Moscow to face Anzhi tonight.
It is believed that Rodgers has one eye on this weekend's big English Premier League fixture against Chelsea, and is saving a number of first team players for that match rather than making them travel hundreds of miles to Russia for what will be a fierce and draining encounter.
In addition to Gerrard and Suarez, others who have not traveled to Russia include Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin, Daniel Agger, Jose Reina, Glen Johnson and Raheem Sterling.
However, midfielder Joe Cole does make the trip to Russia and is likely to start.
"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League but this is a real opportunity to shine and show you can get into that team," said Rodgers, according to BBC Sport. "We have already seen that this season Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom all started in the cup competitions and they are now regulars playing in the Premier League team. Every game is a platform. There is a great motivation there for the players but it is also the opportunity for them to prove they can play and obviously get themselves into that team."
If Liverpool win today they will be almost guaranteed a place in the next round of the Europa League competition, but they will have to compete against former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o today to claim that win.
Liverpool vs Anzhi Makhachkala kicks off at 12 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live streaming by clicking here.