Football: Part-timers ready for Liverpool test

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Liverpool continue their campaign to join the elite band of teams to win all three European competitions when they travel to Norway to meet Brann Bergen in the quarter-finals of the European Cup-Winners' Cup tonight.

The part-timers of Brann have not played a competitive match since October - although that game completed an impressive two-leg victory over the Dutch League leaders PSV Eindhoven. They have spent the last two months training in warmer areas of Europe, most recently in Spain where they played against Spanish First and Second Division sides.

Kjell Tennfjord, the Brann coach, will look to his strikers Tore Andre Flo and Mons Ivar Mjelde to continue their prolific partnership. Flo scored 19 goals last season while Mjelde has already recorded six in this European campaign.

Mjelde has had a bad dose of flu, but should recover in time for the match. However, two players who definitely will not be taking part are the Iceland international goalkeeper Birkir Kristinsson and the midfielder Jan Ove Pedersen, who were not re-registered in time after playing away on loan.

Roy Evans, the Liverpool manager, will delaying naming his team until as late as possible, but will have to shuffle his defence. The Norwegian defender Bjorne Tore Kvarme is ineligible while Mark Wright injured a leg in Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa and has not travelled with the side to Norway. Phil Babb and Neil Ruddock look likely to step in alongside Dominic Matteo.

Evans' main concern will be to keep a clean sheet, but he is hoping that Robbie Fowler rediscovers his goal touch should a chance arise. The striker has made some glaring misses in recent weeks and although his appetite and confidence appear undiminished, a goal would obviously be welcome.

Attitude, as much as ability, will be in demand on what is likely to be a bitterly cold night in the west of Norway. Fowler could never be accused of lacking in either department and his strike partner, Stan Collymore, may also have to dig deep into his reserves.

Liverpool made their reputation in Europe by snuffing out sides away from home and then destroying them at Anfield. Evans, who was a member of the back-row staff during those glory years, will hope for a similar performance tonight.

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