Brendan Rodgers runs rule over Liverpool centre-half Mamadou Sakho

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers explains why first-teamers were rested

Brendan Rodgers has underlined Mamadou Sakho’s continued importance to Liverpool ahead of their Europa League clash against Bordeaux on Thursday.

The France international hasn’t made a Premier League appearance for the Merseyside outfit this season despite penning a new long-term contract earlier this summer.

I didn’t feel the need to take some of them out because we have got other players playing in their position

Brendan Rodgers

However, Sakho could feature in his first game of the season in the Europa League after Rodgers left behind some of his established first-team players for the trip to France.

And the Liverpool manager, whose side have lost successive games in the Premier League, was keen to stress that Sakho is very much part of his plans at Anfield.

“Mama is a player that we want to keep,” Rodgers said.

“It was obviously a difficult start for him, like it was for all the players; in the first five games, the team won the first few games so it was difficult to change the team. Mama was working towards improving his fitness level.

“But always after the international break we were going to need Mama and the other players. He’s a very important member of our squad and we want to extend his contract with the club.

“For sure, Mama will play tomorrow night.”

Rodgers opted to rest Christian Benteke, Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne for the clash against Bordeaux.

Asked about his team selection during his pre-match media conference, Rodgers explained his thought process.

“There are obviously certain players that are left behind that will play [against Norwich City].

“I didn’t feel the need to take some of them out because we have got other players playing in their position, so it’s better to stay at home and rest and get ready for the weekend if they’re required. But there’ll certainly be players that will play tomorrow night that will play at the weekend as well.

“That opportunity is there for the players that play tomorrow evening to hopefully put themselves in place to play at the weekend.”

Liverpool face Norwich City at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday after back-to-back losses to West Ham United and Manchester United.

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