Liverpool return to Europa League commitments with a first leg clash against Scottish club Heart of Midlothian, after missing out on European games altogether last season.


The Reds will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing start to the season - they were beaten 0-3 by West Brom in the opening game of the season. And with games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, plus a tricky trip to Sunderland, all coming in the space of a month, Brendan Rodgers has decided to rest a few of his star players for this game.

Meanwhile, Hearts are second in the Scottish league after registering a win and two draws in their first three fixtures. Manager John McGlynn is unlikely to rest any big guns for this clash as the Edinburgh outfit look to advance to the group stages of the Europa League for the first time since 2004.

Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers will be hoping to bounce back from the opening day defeat at the Hawthorns Reuters

Tactics and Team News:

Hearts: Captain Marius Zaliukas faces a fitness battle ahead of this game but the Lithuanian international is expected to prove his fitness. Meanwhile, the club are also unsure of the availability of goal keeper Jamie MacDonald but the 26 year old is also expected to make it in time. However, new signing Peter Enckelman, formerly of Aston Villa, is on standby for his debut. The hosts will be able to count on the attacking talents of Andrew Driver, a former England U21 player and John Sutton - a product of the Tottenham academy - and both players will be hoping to impress against the Reds.

Liverpool: Rodgers has left Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson at Merseyside, with one eye on the massive weekend fixture against City at Anfield, while Joe Cole and Jose Enrique remain sidelined. New signing Oussama Assaidi is also unavailable as the former Heerenveen man is cup-tied, leaving the Northern Irish manager with some juggling to do for this fixture.

With Johnson and Enrique out and Martin Kelly likely to be saved for the weekend, youngsters Jon Flanagan and Jack Robinson could feature as the Reds' full-backs. Daniel Agger, who is set to miss the City game due to suspension, should be fine to play and the Danish centre back will be partnered by either Jamie Carragher or Sebastian Coates, also depending on who Rodgers is planning to field alongside Skrtel against Roberto Mancini's side.

Jordan Henderson could start in place of Gerrard, while Lucas - who has played several games in a row after returning from a long term injury - will be rested, giving Charlie Adam a chance to feature in his homeland. New signing Joe Allen also played over 180 minutes in four days last week and could be given a breather ahead of the weekend game. Jonjo Shelvey, who impressed in pre-season, is due a chance.

Andy Carroll
Carroll will be hoping for better performances this season Reuters

With Suarez out and Fabio Borini unlikely to start, Andy Carroll - who is clearly down the pecking order - might get a run out against Hearts. Raheem Sterling, another youngster who was impressive during the summer break, will be on the left, leaving Stewart Downing the only realistic option on the right.

Probable Line-up:

Hearts (4-3-3): Enckelman; Paterson, Webster, Zaliukas, Grainger; McGowan, Barr, Taouil; Novikovas, Sutton, Driver

Liverpool (4-3-3): Reina; Flanagan, Carragher, Agger, Robinson; Henderson, Adam, Shelvey; Downing, Carroll, Sterling

Where to Watch Live (all times BST):

The kick-off is set for 7:45 pm, with television coverage on iTV 4 in the UK and Fox Soccer in the US.