Video: Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling embarrasses Rickie Lambert

Video: Rickie Lambert was on the receiving end of some Raheem Sterling trickery in Liverpool training

Raheem Sterling was a noticeable absentee from the Liverpool starting line-up as Aston Villa were shock 1-0 winners at Anfield on Saturday, but the Reds forward looks in good shape ahead of his Champions League debut.

The 19-year-old is expected to feature against Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad in Liverpool’s first Champions League game since crashing out of the competition at the group stage in 2009.

Sterling, who scored in a 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane last month, trained alongside Italy international Mario Balotelli and £20m signing Lazar Markovic at the club’s Melwood training ground on Monday morning.

And the England international showed off his exceptional talent with an audacious nutmeg on Liverpool veteran Rickie Lambert, who could afford to show a wry smile despite being embarrassed by his club and Three Lions team-mate.

Captured by football journalist Richard Buxton, Liverpool’s twinkle-toed forward was too quick for the former Southampton captain as Sterling attempted to earn an immediate return to the Liverpool starting line-up for their European clash.

The former Queens Park Rangers youth graduate scored nine goals in 33 Premier League games last season for Liverpool, earning a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup, announcing his talent to the world stage in Brazil.

Earlier, Liverpool legend Graeme Souness backed Rodgers’s side to reach the latter stages of the Champions League, tipping his former side to reach the semi-finals.

“I can see them going to the semi-finals of the European Cup depending on who they get if they finished second to Real Madrid.”

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