Liverpool make the long trip to Russia to play Anzhi Makhachkala in a UEFA Europa League group stage encounter. The Reds lead a very tight Group A and have six points from three games, with Anzhi and Serie A club Udinese only two behind. The Italians will host bottom-placed BSC Young Boys of Switzerland in the group's other game.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 5 pm BST and live coverage starts from 4.30 pm BST on ITV 4. You can also follow all the action live via the Internet, with free text-based updates on Gamecast on Soccernet.
The Brendan Rodgers-era at Anfield has had a troubled life so far. The former Swansea City manager has had to work with a severely limited squad and budget and the fiasco over the loaning of England international Andy Carroll to West Ham United in the summer, without arranging for adequate reinforcements up front, has certainly compromised their season so far.
However, having said that, Rodgers' faith in the club's youngsters is showing dividends. Raheem Sterling, Suso, Samid Yesil and Jonjo Shelvey have all produced some wonderful performances this year. The trick now, the Northern Irishman must be thinking, is getting them to come good at the same time... along with the rest of the squad and keep that going.
The Reds need to improve on recent results. There have been high points, certainly. The back-to-back home wins against Reading (1-0 in the league) and Anzhi (1-0 in the reverse fixture) provided a good platform to kick-start the season. However, as has been the case this year, the momentum has fizzled out with a defeat and two draws in the last three games. Rodgers would have been furious at conceding a 2-2 draw against Everton at Goodison Park (after going two goals up in the first 20 minutes) and the 1-3 home defeat to former side Swansea would not have improved matters.
The club come into this game with a 1-1 home draw against fellow strugglers Newcastle United, in a match that Uruguayan international Luis Suarez was once again the hero. The 25 year old South American is, by virtue of form if nothing else, one of the deadliest strikers in Europe, with seven league goals in 10 games and he is far and away the Reds' most dangerous player.
Meanwhile, Liverpool's hosts for this game are a side quite high on confidence. The club, led by Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, have 32 points from 14 league games and are only one behind league leaders CSKA Moscow. They may have had a slight hiccup when they lost two back-to-back games recently (1-0 to Liverpool and 2-1 to FK Rubin Kazan) but any thoughts of a mini-crisis at the Khazar Stadium were dispelled with a clinical 3-1 win over Terek Grozny at the weekend.
And with the always dangerous Samuel Eto'o up front, along with the rapidly emerging Lacina Traoré and ex-Premier League stars Yury Zhirkov and Christopher Samba for company, Anzhi should not be underestimated.
Only two points separate the two sides in Group A and with each still to play third placed Udinese (Anzhi host Udinese on 22 November and Liverpool will travel on 6 December), a good result in this match is vital to both sides.
- Last Five (most recent first): W L L W W
- Last Match: Anzhi 3 - 1 Terek Grozny
- Last Five (most recent first): D L D W W
- Last Match: Liverpool 1 - 1 Newcastle United
Anzhi: The Russians will field all three of their star names - Eto'o, Samba and Zhirkov - but it may well be 22 year old Ivorian Traore who steals this show. The forward has 10 goals in 18 appearances for the club this season and is actually joint top-scorer, with the more experienced Eto'o, in the domestic campaign. However, that by no means indicates the former Barcelona and Inter Milan superstar is having a poor season... far from it. The 31 year old has 14 goals from 21 games this season and leads the goal scorers' chart in the Europa League with seven strikes.
Anzhi: Gabulov; Logashov, Carlos, Samba, Tagirbekov; Boussoufa, Akhmedov, Jucilei, Zhirkov; Traore, Eto'o
Liverpool: Rodgers will probably rest several key players for this game, despite the fact it could still affect the Reds' chances to qualify from the group. The problem for the coach is the club must travel to Stamford Bridge to play the reigning Champions League holders Chelsea in a league game at the weekend and follow that by hosting a Wigan Athletic side that will be high on confidence after an away win at White Hart Lane and a full week's rest in between.
This means that Suarez is likely to be wrapped in cotton wool and kept aside for the weekend's fixtures, as too will captain Steven Gerrard. Martin Skrtel, who recently had to specifically refute rumours of a move to Anzhi, will likely have a 50-50 chance of starting this game - Rodgers may well consider the combined threat of Eto'o and Traore, in Russia, worthy enough to deploy one of his two regular centre backs. Therefore, either Skrtel or Denmark's Daniel Agger may start this game, with Uruguayan youngster Sebastian Coates likely to partner the senior player. There is the option to play veteran Jamie Carragher and Rodgers may well opt for that but the 34 year old defender's distinct lack of pace might hamper him when up against Anzhi's strikers.
The midfield is also likely to see changes, with Welshman Joe Allen likely to start from the bench. Nuri Sahin, the on-loan Turkish midfielder from Real Madrid may be handed a start for this game, alongside underperforming England midfielder Jordan Henderson. Youngster Shelvey is also an option.
Up front, Stewart Downing, whose goal gave the Reds the 1-0 win over Anzhi in the previous match will almost definitely start, as will summer signing Oussama Assaidi. The striker's role will likely be manned by 21 year old Dani Pachecho. There is also the possibility 18 year old Samid Yesil may be handed a start.
Spanish goal keeper Pepe Reina and English right back Glen Johnson have recovered from their hamstring injuries but are unlikely to be risked, particularly since Australian Brad Jones and youngster Andre Widsom have done well enough in their absence. Italian striker Fabio Borini, defender Martin Kelly and midfielder Lucas Leiva are definite long-term absentees.
Liverpool: Jones; Wisdom, Skrtel, Coates, Robinson; Sahin, Shelvey; Suso; Downing, Pacheco, Assaidi