German football expert Rafa Honigstein has said that he expects to see some of the younger Liverpool players get an opportunity to impress in the Europa League, but not as much as Jurgen Klopp would have liked following three draws from their opening three Group B games.
The Reds are currently second in their group on three points, but the position could become precarious as they are only a point clear of Rubin Kazan and Bordeaux, while Sion are four points clear at the top of the group.
As a result, some more of the frontline players may be used in order to ensure qualification for the knockout stages of the competition.
Honigstein also said he may view the Europa League as an opportunity rather than a hindrance, suggesting Klopp will try and mould a side that can be competitive in European competition, and sees it as a chance for foreign coaches to get a look at other players in the squad.
He said to BT Sport: "What they can do is given them opportunities in the League Cup, maybe as well in the Europa League although because the first few results have been a little bit disappointing, the three draws, of course he won't be able to rotate as much. I think they'll play a full strength team and maybe use the League Cup to give one or two others a chance."
"It is a number of games that will give him the opportunity to see more players than otherwise possible and I think that he will make very sure that the club and the team understand that the Europa League is an opportunity for them – opportunity to reach the Champions League, opportunity to win a trophy, but also opportunity to grow as a team and really take the next step because you could see at Dortmund what a huge step up it was for them to go from playing in the Bundesliga to suddenly playing in the same system in Europe.
"They really struggled in the first year in the Europa League and they really struggled in the first year of the Champions League – it took them four or five years before they actually hit the real peak in Europe and I think that's a really valuable lesson that he learned. I don't think he's going to see it as a burden, he'll see it as an opportunity and he'll make sure that the players see it in the same way."
Klopp has already demonstrated his willingness to give younger players the opportunity to shine under his stewardship. Divock Origi started the first four games under Klopp up front - all be it his hand was forced somewhat due to injuries to his other forwards, while Joao Carlos Teixeira, Connor Randall and Cameron Brannagan were all handed their full debuts and helped the Reds reach the quarter-final of the League Cup, where they overcame Bournemouth.
Liverpool's European exploits ever since the departure of Rafa Benitez as manager have been nothing to write home about either. Ever since the Spaniard - who built up a reputation where the Reds were one of the most feared opponents in Europe, they've reached the last 16 of the Europa League, the last 32 of the same competition on two occasions - once after being eliminated from the group stages of the Champions League.
That is something that Klopp will aim to change during his time at Liverpool. This week's game against Rubin Kazan could see a mix and match of more senior players and one or two youngsters in order to keep certain options as fresh as possible for the Crystal Palace game, and thinking ahead to a couple of difficult games that will follow the international break.
A good result in Russia could allow Klopp to play some of the other members of the squad that get fewer chances in the coming European games, depending on the other result in the group - as it's feasible Liverpool could qualify with a game to spare despite not recording a win in the competition so far.
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