Liverpool will play SPL side Hearts in the Europa League play-offs as boss Brendan Rodgers closes in on the capture of midfielder Joe Allen from old club Swansea (Liverpool now 9/4 to finish in Top 4 with bet365).
The Reds made it into the final qualifying stage of the Europa League after a convincing 3-0 second-leg victory over Gomel at Anfield in the third qualifying round on Thursday.
Rodgers’ side will now take on Hearts in an intriguing Anglo-Scottish battle over two legs later this month as the Northern Irishman gears up for his first season in charge of the club since replacing the sacked Kenny Dalglish over the summer.
He was pleased with the the victory over Gomel, as new signing Fabio Borini, skipper Steven Gerrard and defender Glen Johnson all got on the scoresheet, while he is on the verge of landing Allen – who was watching on from the stand.
Rodgers is trying to implement a new high-pressing, possession-based game at Anfield and, ahead of completing the capture of Allen, outlined the type of player he likes to work with.
“Because of my methods, I need a certain profile of player,” the Liverpool boss said in his programme notes on Thursday.
“Technically the player needs to be strong, have the tactical capacity to participate and learn the game, have the physical attributes to perform in a high-intensity pressing game, and the mentality and hunger to perform every day.”
Meanwhile, Rodgers’ Premier League debut as Reds boss begins with a trip to West Brom a week on Saturday (Liverpool EVS, Albion 11/4, draw 12/5 with bet365).
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