Liverpool v Udinese: Italian teams are always difficult opponents, says Sahin
Liverpool v Udinese: Reds midfielder Nuri Sahin admits it "won't be easy" to get a result against their Italian opponents at Anfield
Nuri Sahin has warned Italian teams are “always difficult” opponents ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Udinese in the Europa League at Anfield on Thursday.
The Reds are looking to maintain their unbeaten record in Europe’s second tier club competition this season, with Brendan Rodgers’ men winning 5-3 at Young Boys in their opening Group A fixture.
Meanwhile, Udinese have beaten Milan and managed back-to-back goalless draws against Genoa and Torino since sharing the spoils with Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala in their opening Europa League group-stage match.
“It won’t be easy,” Sahin told Liverpool’s website.
“They lost a few good players but they are still a good team. It will be a different style of football because they play with three defenders and five in midfield.
“It will be another experience for us to play against a team with this style, and Italian teams are always difficult.”
Sahin has previously featured in the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, but the 24-year-old is relishing the chance help Liverpool progress into the latter stages of the Europa League.
“Of course the Champions League is something special,” he added.
“If you play once in the Champions League you want to play always in the Champions League.
“But we’re in the Europa League and that is always very interesting after the group stages of the Champions League, because there will be some very good teams in the pot.
“It is a great tournament. It’s a European cup and we want to go as long as possible – for me it’s very important.”
Liverpool v Udinese: Pre-match facts
• Champions League regulars Liverpool competed in the Europa League group stage for the first time in 2010/11, making it to the round of 16, where they lost to SC Braga.
• This is the start of Udinese’s fourth Uefa Cup and Europa League group stage campaign – they have reached the knock-out stage in their previous three attempts.
• The Reds are unbeaten in six European games, including all five under their new boss Brendan Rodgers.
• Udinese goalkeeper Daniele Padelli played for Liverpool in 2007 on loan from Sampdoria, making his only appearance for the club in a 2-2 draw at home against Charlton Athletic on 13 May that year – the final game of the season, remembered as Robbie Fowler’s last for the Reds.