Zenit v Liverpool: Joe Allen vows to seize his chance to impress in Russia
Zenit v Liverpool: Joe Allen vows to take his chance to impress Brendan Rodgers if he is handed a starting berth in Russia
Joe Allen has vowed to seize his chance to impress Brendan Rodgers if he is handed a starting berth in Liverpool’s clash against Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday.
The Wales international has fallen out of favour in recent months after Lucas Leiva’s return from injury and Jordan Henderson’s impressive performances.
However, Liverpool’s 2-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion on Monday night means Allen could be restored to the starting line-up for the first leg of the Europa League last-32 game in Russia.
And the £15m signing is desperate to rediscover his old Swansea form after a difficult start to his Liverpool career.
“My form hasn’t been great, especially compared to the start of the season, but that is more down to myself,” said Allen.
“But I am looking forward to working hard and try to turn things around a little bit.
“I haven’t played that much recently so any chance I get to participate then I’ll be hoping to impress as much as I can and stake my claim.
“We were bitterly disappointed after Monday’s defeat to West Brom, that goes without saying, but we have this tie to look forward to and refocus.”
Pre-match facts: Zenit St Petersburg v Liverpool
• Zenit have played five games against English opposition – most recently winning the 2008 Super Cup via a2-1 victory against Manchester United in Monaco – with the record W3 D0 L2.
• Zenit have been to the city of Liverpool before, losing 1-0 against Everton in the 2007-08 Uefa Cup group stage. They went on to win the competition that season, though.
• Liverpool have already met a Premier-Liga side this season, winning 1-0 at home and losing 1-0 away against Anzhi Makhachkala in the group stage.
• The Reds’ record in nine games against Russian clubs (including a 3-1 win against CSKA Moskva in the 2005 Super Cup in Monaco) reads W5 D1 L3.