• Europa League

Rodgers' Liverpool injury fears

ESPN staff
September 19, 2012 « Bisping commands the respect of Jon Jones | Chartbeat test »
Brendan Rodgers is juggling his resources at Liverpool © Getty Images
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Brendan Rodgers has suggested the threadbare nature of his Liverpool squad is the reason behind his decision to take a string of youngsters for their Europa League clash with Young Boys.

Rodgers endured a frustrating summer, with players such as Dirk Kuyt and Andy Carroll moving on without being adequately replaced. The Reds have made a poor start to the Premier League and face a real test against Manchester United at the weekend.

With that game in mind, Rodgers has drafted in the likes of Samed Yesil, Suso, Conor Coady, Andre Wisdom, Adam Morgan, Peter Gulacsi and Dani Pacheco for the trip to Switzerland.

Rodgers is confident the youngsters can cut it at the highest level and has challenged them to take their chance, while admitting his focus is the Premier League.

"There is no doubt the Premier League is our No. 1 priority," the Reds boss said at a press conference. "I have made that clear from the off. But I see it [Europa League] as an opportunity as well. It is a competition we would like to do well in.

"I have brought young players I have seen in the early parts of the season who can come in and contribute. I know they have got talent. But it is whether they can step in to the first team and fight."

Rodgers cited Tuesday night's clash between Real Madrid and Manchester City as evidence of the fight he faces.

He said: "I look at Real Madrid v Manchester City last night. I saw Samir Nasri go off injured. They have a massive squad that can accommodate that. If I lose some of my key players it could make it difficult for the next two or three months.

"So the balance has to be right. We have young players who are exciting and experienced players who are playing a great role for me."

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