Liverpool have confirmed their starting eleven for the game against AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow tonight in the FA Cup third round.
The Reds have seen a series of Premier League rivals progress to the fourth round, including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, and will be hopeful of a similar result against lower league opposition.
Tonight’s game is the first time the two teams have faced off since Wimbledon’s rebirth following the move of the club’s share in the Football League to Milton Keynes.
However, Wimbledon have been granted the history of the club that existed before and played in south London, meaning that the fixture today is a rematch of the 1988 FA Cup final, which the Dons famously won 1-0.
Brendan Rodgers has named a strong side for tonight’s game, including former Southampton man Rickie Lambert and Phillipe Coutinho.
Adam Lallana misses out as a result of injury. Mario Balotelli returns to the bench.
Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho has said that Raheem Sterling will be one of the stars of the Anfield club’s European campaign, with the club set to take part in the Champions League for the first time in since 2009 this week, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
Brendan Rodgers leads his troops into the competition for the first time as a manager, with the Reds hosting Ludogorets at Anfield this week.
The club also face a milestone, with this week being the 50th anniversary of the first time that the club ever hosted a European tie, during the glory days of the 1960s.
Sterling has started the new season in stunning form, although he was started on the bench for Liverpool’s 1-0 loss against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday. Manager Rodgers is fearful that the youngster could suffer burnout if he is overused because of his immense talent.
Coutinho, however, has backed him to perform on Europe’s grandest stage.
“It is likely that Raheem Sterling will be one of the stars in Europe for Liverpool,” said Coutinho.
“Raheem is having a very good time at the moment and is in very good shape, so I believe he will do well this season. Like me, Raheem wants to attack defenders, but the difference between us is that he is very, very fast. I definitely don’t have the speed to catch Raheem!
“I am not surprised at all by his performances. We are training together every day and I know his potential.”
Liverpool’s midfield magician Phillipe Coutinho has confirmed that he is keen on signing a new deal with the Anfield club, and that he is looking forward to fulfilling his dreams of playing in the Champions League with the Reds this week, as reported by the Daily Star.
Having moved to the side from Inter Milan, Coutinho has developed into a key player for Liverpool, and he is now looking to sign a new deal with the club, having imposed himself heavily on the first team during his time at Anfield.
He said to the Sun on Sunday: “I’d be happy to analyse a new contract.
“It is very important for me to play in the Champions League but staying does not rely only on that.
“It relies on other things, like being happy.”
Coutinho played a key role last year as Liverpool pushed for an unlikely title challenge, and helped them qualify for the Champions League in the process.
His success for Liverpool has seen him return to the Brazilian national side recently, when he appeared alongside Barcelona star Neymar.
Liverpool fell to a 1-0 loss against Aston Villa yesterday, and have struggled to reach their previous heights thus far this season, although they have been hit by injury to their star players.