Liverpool travel to Queens Park Rangers knowing they need to rediscover last season’s exuberance if they are to keep their place at Europe’s top table.
Manager Brendan Rodgers’s side have looked listless without English striker Daniel Sturridge. He is expected to return from injury this weekend; the priority for the Anfield manager is to make sure Sturridge and fellow striker Mario Balotelli click before Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Real Madrid.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp has plenty of problems of his own, with bookmakers’ making him the favourite to be the next Premier League manager to get the sack. The London club are bottom of the table and, despite recruiting Man Utd veteran Rio Ferdinand, their defence has been in disarray.
QPR have let in 15 goals already this season, the second worst defensive record in the league. The only consolation for Redknapp is that Liverpool also have that mid-week Champions League match to think about.
Rodgers has already bemoaned the effect of mid-week games on his playing squad, and with all the furore about Raheem Sterling’s ‘tiredness’ with England mid-week the manager will know he has to pace his players carefully.