Liverpool have today announced their squad for the group stages of the Europa League. Brendan Rodgers has named 21 players, in accordance with UEFA’s rules, while he is permitted to play an unlimited number of players under the age of 21, provided they have played for the club for more than two years.
With this in mind, we’ve taken this opportunity to name our ideal Europa League XI for the upcoming games against Rubin Kazan, Bordeaux and FC Sion – assuming, as is usually the case, that the boss will use the early stages of this competition as an opportunity to hand game-time to some of the fringe members of his squad.
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GK) Adam Bogdan
Brad Jones was barely given a look in during his time at the club, even in the so called lesser competitions, but Bogdan is better than that and deserves his chance to impress here. We’re not going to have a legitimate rival for Mignolet unless we give his main rival some time on the pitch.
RB) Joe Gomez
Gomez has been primarily utilised as a left-back so far this season. However, a lack of full-back options within our squad mean that either he or Clyne are likely to feature in every game, with Alberto Moreno coming in on the left. We’d like to see Gomez, who is right-footed after all, given a chance in his more natural position.
LB) Alberto Moreno
Moreno needs time on the pitch in his actual position if he is to fulfil his full potential. While he has proved himself a more than useful option on the left of midfield so far this season, that’s not what we bought him for and that’s not where he should be spending all of his time.
CB) Kolo Toure
The veteran defender will likely be one of the first names on the teamsheet here as he provides experience to an otherwise young side. He’ll be a decent bet for captain as well if Rodgers chooses to rest both James Milner and Jordan Henderson.
CB) Dejan Lovren
After his horror show against West Ham it would be incredible to think of Lovren keeping his place for the next Premier League game, especially with Mamadou Sakho waiting in the wings. If that predicted switch in the pecking order does go ahead this month, then the Croatian will have to try and prove himself here.