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Hodgson to field strong Liverpool line-up
Published : 03 Nov 2010 12:30:20
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has pledged to field a strong team in Thursday's Europa League clash at home to Napoli as he seeks to take a major step towards qualification for the knockout stages.
The 63-year-old believes four points from their remaining three games - two of which are at home - will be enough for his Group K leaders. And even with a huge match against Chelsea looming on Sunday, Hodgson, in contrast to Liverpool's away European fixtures, is prepared to field an experienced side.
"I think if we can get four more points we'll be pretty much secure for a place in the next round as I can see the other games being tight," he said.
"We got one of the tougher groups with Napoli, Steaua and Utrecht and on paper it looked even, but we've done what we've needed to do.
"We'll have a strong team out on Thursday, we won't rest too many.
"When you're playing these European games it's the travelling that's one of the worst aspects.
"You're away for three days and you're very concerned about the way the players will react, not just to the game but also the travelling.
"At home it's a slightly lesser problem but of course we need to look at the minutes people are playing and try to keep some sort of balance there.
"Of course there are international games coming up as well and some players might get a week without a game and others won't - so we have to take that into consideration."
Hodgson will be without Joe Cole (hamstring), Dirk Kuyt (ankle) and Daniel Agger (calf) while Sotirios Kyrgiakos was withdrawn from training on Monday as a precaution after complaining of a groin problem. Ryan Babel is training with the squad after a rib injury and Glen Johnson could end his four-match absence with a thigh problem.