Why are Liverpool resting players for arguably the biggest game of the campaign?
Brendan Rodgers thinks Liverpool should make the Premier League a priority ahead of the Champions League this season, the Mirror reports.
The Reds are preparing to face Real Madrid in Europe this evening, a match supporters have eagerly waited for since the draw was made, but the manager is likely to rest Steven Gerrard, and potentially even Raheem Sterling for the crunch clash.
“In Steven’s case, if he is playing on Saturday I have to look at what is the priority for him and us. If he played against Newcastle and didn’t play tomorrow night you could say that was the priority,” Rodgers began.
“Him and I have spoken about that. Three big games, Newcastle, Madrid and then Chelsea. I need to look at a number of players to look at the games we want them to play in.
“But I have also got to look at (the fact) we brought in other players. And there is responsibility. But there is no doubt that our priorities are the Premier League and the Champions League, and always in that order.”
Considering the mammoth effort to qualify for the Champions League last season, it seems strange to now pick an arguably weakened side now we’re actually in the competition – struggling desperately to qualify from our group.
Considering Liverpool lost to Newcastle at the weekend anyway, and are by no means guaranteed to beat Chelsea next Saturday even with a rested Gerrard – the decision seems even stranger.
Liverpool fans have waited five years to watch the Reds compete in Europe’s elite competition, and would have hoped the club gave the competition at least equal priority alongside the Premier League.