Besiktas vs Liverpool: Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho left at home for Europa League clash

Liverpool boss forced to shuffle the pack for Europa League outing

Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho were among eight senior players left at home as Liverpool arrived in Istanbul ahead of their Europa League tie with Besiktas.

It means Gerrard, who has agreed to join LA Galaxy in the summer, will miss out on a return to the Ataturk Stadium, where he famously lifted the Champions League trophy in 2005.

Brendan Rodgers’s side are preparing to defend their 1-0 first-leg lead, courtesy of Mario Balotelli's penalty, after an impressive win over Southampton last weekend.

The former England captain has not played for the last fortnight due to a hamstring problem and has been left in Merseyside in a bid to ensure he will be fit for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.

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Steven Gerrard kisses the Champions League trophy after the 2005 final

Coutinho, on the other hand, has played in all of Liverpool's last 19 games and is believed to have been rewarded with a rest.

The Brazilian scored a stunning long-range effort to send Rodgers' men on their way to a vital 2-0 victory over Ronald Koeman's Saints on Sunday.

The former Swansea City boss said: "We’ve got a few injuries. We’re probably out here without eight of our squad who have knocks, some with previous and some who picked up something at the weekend.

"We still have a squad strong enough to hopefully get the job complete. But we’ ve got a few knocks and niggles from the weekend.

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Daniel Sturridge and Brendan Rodgers

"The confidence is very high in the team and the changes we make and the players that come in, they know their collective jobs.

"They’re performing at a very high level so we expect that confidence level to continue and to carry that into the game."

Meanwhile, Lazar Markovic remains suspended while Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas are all injured.

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