Preview: Liverpool vs. Zenit St Petersburg

Preview: Liverpool vs. Zenit
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to Liverpool's second leg Europa League encounter against Zenit St Petersburg as they head into the match with a 2-0 deficit.

Liverpool will need to recreate one of their famous European nights at Anfield on Thursday night in order to reach the next stage of the Europa League.

The Merseyside outfit take on Zenit St Petersburg on home turf with a 2-0 deficit following their loss in Russia last week, meaning that the Premier League club need to score three goals and concede none in order to get through the round-of-32 phase.

Following a recent run of negative results, the Reds head into Thursday's match on the back of a 5-0 thrashing of Swansea City in the league, while their Russian opponents have not lost a game in their last five fixtures.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be without cup-tied duo Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, who both scored over the weekend, which indicates that Luis Suarez will be launched up front on his own, with support from Stewart Downing and Raheem Sterling.

Meanwhile, Zenit are likely to field a strong lineup in order to keep their lead over Liverpool, who are expected to come out firing at Anfield, with Nicolas Lombaerts and Neto holding the back four, while Hulk is expected to start up top.

Recent form

Liverpool: WLLDD

Zenit St Petersburg: WDWWD

Possible starting lineups

Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique; Henderson, Lucas, Gerrard; Downing, Sterling, Suarez

Zenit St. Petersburg: Malafeev; Anyukov, Lombaerts, Neto, Hubocan; Witsel, Danny, Denisov, Shirokov; Kerzhakov, Hulk

Sports Mole says: 1-0 (Zenit to win 2-1 on aggregate)

Zenit's Sergei Semak celebrates a goal against Liverpool on February 14, 2013
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Result: Liverpool beaten in Russia
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