Jordan Rossiter is expected to start for Liverpool tonight against Bordeaux in the Europa League, with James Milner and Lucas left at home, and Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen injured.
It’ll be the teenager’s first start of the season, having come off the bench for Lucas against Arsenal in our impressive away draw.
Two defeats since then though have ruined fan morale, and Rossiter will know he’s taking part in a fixture which many supporters regard as must win.
It seemingly doesn’t faze him though, and the local lad has heaped praise on former Reds and current team-mates before tonight’s match.
“Growing up, I always admired Xabi Alonso,” Rossiter told the ECHO, in a lengthy, illuminating interview.
“His passing range, his composure on the ball – he’s someone I looked up to.
“Now it’s the same with Lucas Leiva and James Milner. They both help me a lot and just training alongside them helps my development.
“I look at how Lucas breaks up play and the commitment he shows every day in training. He’s been playing for Liverpool for the past eight years and that’s some achievement. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to play alongside him going forward.
“Brendan just explained that he wanted me in and around the first team and that I’d be training every day with the lads – that’s what I’ve always wanted,” Rossiter said.
“A lot of the other young lads are getting great experience out on loan and doing really well. I’m sure they will come back as better players.
“The manager has put a lot of faith in me and if I get on to the pitch on Thursday night hopefully I can repay that.
“I know I’ve got a lot to improve on but I’ll keep working hard and listening to what the coaches are asking me to do.
“I’ve been on these trips before as with the UEFA Youth League games the Academy lads travelled on the plane with the first team to Basel, Real Madrid and Ludogorets last season.
“Playing against different systems and different tactics in stadiums across Europe really helps you develop as a player. Those experiences will certainly help me.”
“We had a good start but unfortunately the last two results have been tough to take,” he said.
“All the lads were disappointed after Old Trafford but we want to get back out there and put things right. I’m sure we’ll do that.
“It’s a long season. A couple of weeks ago everyone was talking about how well we had started.
“There’s a lot of talent in this squad. I see it every day in training. Everyone wants to improve and come together as a team.
“Against United, we were without Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge – that’s four brilliant players to come back in.
“Any team would miss players like that. They will help the team kick on and also help me to improve as a player.”
“When your chance comes along at this club, you have to take it. Whoever starts will be ready and capable of ensuring we get the three points.
“It’s a European competition we want to be involved in and it’s going to be exciting. We know they’re a good team who are going into the game on a high after a decent draw against PSG.
“It might not be the Champions League, but it’s still a big competition and an opportunity for us to win a trophy.
“We all want to get the club back in the Champions League next season and doing well in the Europa League gives you the chance to achieve that.
“There’s something special about European nights when you are a Liverpool player.
“As a player everyone wants to play in Europe and beating Bordeaux would set us up nicely for the league game with Norwich on Sunday.”
The quotes show Rossiter has his head screwed on, and is determined to do well tonight.
Few would begrudge him the chance to start, and we only hope he takes his opportunity with both hands.
He’s feisty, can pass and is stronger and more physical than his babyface predicts. The entire red half of Merseyside is behind him tonight, too.