PICTURES: Liverpool train ahead of Champions League return

Liverpool face Ludogorets in their opening Champions League Group B game on Tuesday evening.

Liverpool were back in training today after their defeat to Aston Villa at the weekend as they look to bounce back on their return to the Champions League.

This is the first time in five years Liverpool take part in the Champions League. Their last game was a 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina at Anfield in December 2009, and a lot has changed at the club since.

Pictured in training were Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli, Steven Gerrard and Mamadou Sakho. Sterling is likely to start against the Bulgarian champions after being rested for the defeat to Villa. 

Martin Skrtel also returned to training after missing the last two Premier League games with a knee injury, but manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed the Slovakian won't be available for tomorrow night's game at Anfield - meaning Sakho is likely to retain his place at centre-back alongside Dejan Lovren.

Balotelli is likely to start his third consecutive game as he goes in search of his first goal for the Reds. He was substituted with 20 minutes to go on Saturday, whilst Gerrard has spoken of his desire to lead the side out in the Champions League again, having admitted he was jealous of the other Premier League teams when they were playing in the competition, and Liverpool weren't.

Here is a selection of the best photos from Monday's training session:

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