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 Europa League

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Shankly Gates
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Nombre de messages : 1670
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Date d'inscription : 2005-01-13

PostSubject: Europa League   Tue 29 Jun 2010 - 13:03

We can only hope that Spain, Argentina and Holland all get knocked out quickly. As there will be other matches and preparation on top of this match.




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LIVERPOOL are facing up to the prospect of kicking off their Europa League campaign without a handful of star names.

The Reds will play the first significant game of the new season in the third qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, July 29 but it is looking increasingly unlikely that the clubs new manager will not be able to call on Pepe Reina, Fernando Torres, Maxi Rodriguez, Javier Mascherano and Dirk Kuyt for what is certainly a crucial fixture.

All players who have been involved in the World Cup are given a mandatory three-week break from the moment their countries are eliminated.

That means the earliest Mascherano, Rodriguez and Kuyt can be expected to report back to Melwood is on Monday, July 26, as they will be involved in quarter-finals this weekend.

And provided World Cup favourites Spain beat Portugal tonight in Cape Town to progress to the last eight, the same would also apply to Torres and Reina.

They, of course, would not be considered for duty so soon after returning from a break and Liverpool can expect to be similarly cautious with the players whose World Cup dreams were ended at the weekend.

Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson were due home today after flying back from South Africa with the rest of Fabio Capellos squad but they wont be seen back in the Reds fold until the middle week of July.

Its possible that trio will join up with the party that travels to Switzerland for a training camp but they will definitely miss Liverpools opening three friendlies against Saudi Arabian champions Al Hilal (July 17), Grasshopper Zurich (July 21) and Kaiserslautern (July 24).

Those players who have not been involved in the World Cup, such as Alberto Aquilani, Lucas and Emiliano Insua, will return to Melwood this Thursday for the opening day of pre-season.

Liverpool will not discover the identity of their prospective Europa League opponents until the draw is made on July 16, when they enter the competition with teams such as Juventus, Stuttgart and Galatasary.

Liverpools UEFA coefficient means they will not get pitted against one of those big names but they could still be handed a tricky assignment, as sides such as IFK Gothenburg, Red Star Belgrade and Maccabi Haifa will be lurking in the draw.

Meanwhile, Torres is determined to show his true form this evening after what, for him, has been a disappointing World Cup.

He has failed to score so far and his touch has been rusty but he has confidence that he will be able to bounce back in tonights Iberian derby.

Im still lacking a bit its not easy to return after an operation, he said. I think Im still a little away from being 100 per cent, although Im close.

Were ready for whatever comes. We are where we wanted to be, living the opportunity that we dreamed of.

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