Raheem Sterling
Liverpool may be without Sterling for the gameGetty Images

Liverpool play host to Besiktas in the round of 32 tie of the Europa Cup on Thursday as the Reds look to atone for their failure in the Champions League.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 8.5pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be available on ITV and ITV HD.

Overview

Liverpool are currently seventh in the league, behind Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in the race for the top four and will be less than pleased with the added responsibility of the Europa League starting today.

The Reds failed to capitalise on their qualification into the Champions League this season after a five-year hiatus and were dumped out from the group stages by Basel and Real Madrid.

The Reds failed to gain any fruition going into the games and their only wins in the tournament came against Ludogorets, the overwhelming minnows in the group.

It will be a period to forget for Brendan Rodgers, who was without his main striker Daniel Sturridge for the game, following an injury, and the absence of Luis Suarez meant that they were lacking some serious bite up front.

However, they have recovered from their setback and are currently making huge strides in the league, having beaten Tottenham at Anfield to keep at sniffing distance of a top four spot.

Besiktas gave a good account of themselves when they last met a Premier League side this season, taking Arsenal to the edge as the Gunners scraped a 1-0 win over the Turkish side and scrambled across into the group stages of the Champions League.

It will be a return of sorts for Demba Ba, who scored the winner for Chelsea in their 2-0 loss at Anfield last year, which eventually cost Liverpool the title.

What Managers Say

Brendan Rodgers: "The frustration of the Champions League was that we put in two years of hard work to get to that stage and when we arrived there we didn't have the team to show our way of working. It was not us earlier in the season and I was always hopeful we could still be in the Champions League at this stage and show our way of working. It was not to be but this is still a very good competition and we will attack these games against Besiktas like we have in the last few months."

Steven Bilic: "You don't need to give anyone Ferrero Rocher chocolates. I am passionate just as I was as a player and not that humble or modest to say I am not good enough as a coach. But I am very realistic, I am not in the league of the coaches. If there is anyone in that league of coaches, that says I am going to go there, and then there... to get a good job you have to do well. Then your colleagues have to do bad, get sacked. And then the club has to say we want him. But all you can do is do well. If I can draw out a plan for my career, I would rather go to England in the future one day."

Betting Odds

  • Liverpool Win: 6/11
  • Draw: 37/13
  • Besiktas Win: 21/1

Team News

Liverpool

Possible XI: Mignolet; Lovren, Skrtel, Sakho; Johnson, Moreno, Henderson, Can; Ibe, Balotelli, Sturridge

Besiktas:

Possible XI: Gonen; Kurtulus, Ramon, Franco, Nukan; Hutchinson, Kavlak, Sosa, Sahan; Tore, Ba