Gerrard rested, Cole starts for Prague clash

Liverpool have chosen not to risk captain Steven Gerrard but Joe Cole will start as Liverpool chase a place in the Europa League last 16 tonight.

Liverpool have chosen not to risk captain Steven Gerrard but Joe Cole will start as Liverpool chase a place in the Europa League last 16 tonight.

Gerrard has been given more time to recover after two games out with a groin injury but Cole, after an indifferent start to his Liverpool career, will start as Sparta Prague visit Anfield.

It is only the Chelsea midfielder’s first start since Kenny Dalglish took charge of the club seven weeks ago.

Dalglish makes three other changes as Liverpool look to build on their goalless draw in the first leg in the Czech Republic last week.

Daniel Agger, Christian Poulsen and Martin Kelly all come in while Jamie Carragher is left on the bench while Glen Johnson drops out of the squad altogether.

Sparta, featuring former Reading midfielder Marek Matejovsky, make one change with midfielder Libor Sionko replacing Andrej Keric.

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Agger, Wilson, Poulsen, Lucas, Kuyt, Meireles, Cole, Ngog. Subs: Gulacsi, Pacheco, Jovanovic, Maxi, Carragher, Spearing, Skrtel.

Sparta Prague: Blazek, Kusnir, Repka, Brabec, Pamic, Vacek, Sionko, Matejovsky, Abena, Kadlec, Kweuke. Subs: Zitka, Podany, Kladrubsky, Zeman, Husek, Keric, Pekhart.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox