Liverpool legend John Aldridge offers his selection thoughts ahead of Bordeaux clash

Paisley Gateway

After a disappointing defeat to Manchester United, Liverpool are in Europa League action on Thursday where changes are expected.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has said in the Liverpool Echo he expects changes to the side for Thursday evening's Europa League group stage opener against Bordeaux.

Brendan Rodgers is expected to make quite a few changes in order to freshen up the side as the fixture list starts to pile up, but some players who have participated in the Premier League games may be given opportunities to get some more match time and confidence under their belts.

In his Liverpool Echo column, the Reds legend wrote: "It won’t be an easy game, against a Bordeaux side that has a good home record, but my feeling is that Liverpool have a lot of players who will have points to prove in France, and we must use that.

"I expect that Sakho and Toure will start, Moreno too. I’d give Jordan Rossiter and Jordon Ibe a go too, and definitely Ings and Origi.

"I’d say Firmino should play too, as they need to get him going, and Emre Can needs as many games in midfield as he can.

"Plenty of them have something to prove to the manager and the fans, so let them go out and do it. We’ve a strong squad, capable of going places in this competition, so it’ll be good to show that."

Many would see the Europa League as a distraction but Liverpool certainly have the numbers to field teams to cope with the demands of the competition as well as the Premier League and domestic cup competitions, while there are a few places that are in doubt in the starting XI - so it provides an opportunity for other players to get some more regular game time. 

There are calls for a change at the heart of the defence with some fans calling for the return of Mamadou Sakho to the starting XI in place of Dejan Lovren, though Martin Skrtel's performances of late haven't exactly been those of a solid defender.

It's interesting that Aldridge would like to see Firmino play in France and it's hard to disagree. The Brazilian didn't have much of a pre-season and has yet to complete 90 minutes for the Reds so far this season, so there does appear to be an issue with his match fitness and this could be a good opportunity to build that up, as well as get a good performance under his belt because he looks as if he needs one.

There are several players who haven't started a game this season like Divock Origi, Adam Bogdan, Kolo Toure while the likes of Alberto Moreno and Jordan Rossiter probably should be given an opportunity to show what they can do as well.

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