Udinese v Liverpool: We’d be bitterly disappointed to go out – Rodgers
Udinese v Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers says the Reds would be "bitterly disappointed" to go out of the Europa League
Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool would be “bitterly disappointed” to be eliminated from the Europa League ahead of their final Group A game against Udinese.
The Reds need to beat the Serie A outfit to guarantee their place in the Europa League last-32 draw in a fortnight’s time – a point would also be sufficient as long as Young Boys are not victorious at Anzhi Makhachkala.
The 39-year-old has handed the younger members of his squad the chance to impress in the Europa League this term, but Rodgers is taking the competition seriously and is desperate to emulate the club’s great sides who have previously conquered Europe.
“We’re looking to play a certain style, a style accustomed to Liverpool and their great history,” said Rodgers.
“Pass and move, work as a collective unit – that is Liverpool, and we’re looking to repeat what has happened in that great history.”
He added: “We’d be bitterly disappointed if we went out. It’s important for us to be focused on getting the win.
“I believe we will get the result which sees us qualify and keep up the momentum. Our job is to keep moving forwards, day by day, game by game; a win would give us another chance to do so.”
Pre-match facts: Udinese v Liverpool
• Udinese won 3-2 at Anfield when the sides met for the first time on matchday two. Antonio Di Natale’s strike, an own goal by Sebastián Coates and a superb effort from Giovanni Pasquale were enough to trump Jonjo Shelvey’s early opener and a sublime Luis Suárez free-kick.
• Liverpool’s 24 European games against Italian teams have ended W8 D5 L11. Those matches include five Uefa club competition finals, including their 3-3 draw with AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final which the Reds won on penalties.
• Those finals aside, Liverpool’s record on Italian soil reads W2 D3 L4. At home, their record is W6 D0 L4.
• Udinese’s four fixtures against English sides ended W2 D0 L2. They beat Tottenham Hotspur in the 2008/09 Uefa Cup group stage, but lost 1-0 in London and 2-1 in Udine to Arsenal in the 2011-12 Champions League play-offs.
• Udinese are on an unprecedented three-game losing streak in Group A: they had never lost more than two games in a row in Europe prior to matchday five.