Young Boys v Liverpool: Rodgers excited to give youngsters a chance
Young Boys v Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers says he is looking forward to giving the Reds youngsters a chance on Thursday
Brendan Rodgers has revealed he is relishing the chance to use some of Liverpool’s up-and-coming stars in their opening Europa League group-stage fixture against Young Boys on Thursday.
The 39-year-old has selected a youthful looking squad for the trip to Bern, with Samed Yesil, Suso, Conor Coady, Andre Wisdom, Adam Morgan, Peter Gulacsi and Dani Pacheco all part of the 20-man travelling party.
Liverpool will take on Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday as they look to win their first Premier League game of the season, prompting Rodgers to rest key players such as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suárez.
“I’m always excited to see young players because you never actually know how they will do until you put them in a particular situation,” Rodgers said.
“But we’ve got a mix of players here – we’ve got players who have won this tournament, we’ve got experienced international players and some very talented players.
“I’m really, really looking forward to seeing them come together as a group and to seeing how they represent the club.
“If the players do well tomorrow night then there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t be involved at the weekend.
“I like to have a small squad because it gives players who might be just on the outskirts the motivation and an opportunity [to play].
“Secondly, it gives the younger players hope. They always feel that they can get into the squad or be around the squad, but for that they need to show they have the fight and personality to be in the team and that is what we’re going to find out over the next few weeks.
“I’m very much looking forward to the game tomorrow night. We’ve got a squad who can win the game, or certainly get a good result, and I’m very confident we can do that.”
Young Boys v Liverpool: Pre-match facts
• Liverpool have had two notable Swiss players: defenders Stephane Henchoz (1999-05) and Philipp Degen (2008-10). Henchoz is remembered particularly fondly, having helped the Reds to win a treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup in 2000/01.
• Young Boys’ right-back Scott Sutter was born in England, and played youth team football for Millwall, Barnet, Aston Villa and Charlton Athletic before moving to his father’s home country and starting his professional career with Grasshopper-Club.
• Liverpool’s record in eight games against Swiss sides reads W5 D2 L1. Their only defeat against Swiss opponents came at Servette in September 1971, and they are now unbeaten in seven games against Swiss clubs.
• Young Boys lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the 2010/11 Champions League play-offs, their only previous encounter with English opponents. They won 3-2 in the first leg in Berne, but three goals from former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch helped Spurs win the return leg 4-0.