Hodgson to rest star Liverpool players against Napoli
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson will leave out some big names for the Europa League trip to face Napoli as he has one eye on an increasingly-important match against Blackburn this weekend.
The likes of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are expected to remain on Merseyside when the squad flies out to Naples later.
Hodgson will also be without Glen Johnson, who missed the derby defeat at Everton with a hamstring problem, and Daniel Agger, who is ill.
But, having slipped to second-bottom in the Barclays Premier League after just one victory in eight games, Hodgson is rightly prioritising domestic affairs.
"I'll leave some players out - that's for sure," he said.
"Some of the more important senior players won't travel because their participation on Sunday is going to be so important to us.
"It's not just a question of playing three matches in a week it's also a question of injury.
"I don't think our squad is so strong that I can afford to risk them.
"But it'll still be a strong team we put out there and I think it's a chance for some players who have been on the fringes, like David Ngog and others like Ryan Babel who has had very few chances.
"It's yet another opportunity for these players to blast their way into the team and force me to look at them in a different light, to make sure they are players that are first on the list and not down the pecking order."
On the current injury problems, Hodgson added: "After being injured, Agger is now sick, so he has ruled himself out.
"Dirk Kuyt has a wicked ankle injury. Everyone tells me it looks worse than it really is and I certainly hope that is the case because it does not look good. It is still very badly swollen.
"Christian Poulsen has recovered and is okay.
"Glen Johnson is still out injured but I would hope he would be back in training when we return on Friday - so he's not ruled out for Sunday but is for Thursday."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Arturo Vidal to Real Madrid: Transfer news live - Sergio Ramos to Manchester United, Lukas Podolski to leave Arsenal
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 Baby rescued 1km out to sea after parents forgot about her
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture