It’s been a long time since Liverpool tasted success in Europe. Whilst their return to the Champions League last season was brief, the Europa League this season offers a new challenge for Brendan Rodgers and his squad.
The Reds Europa league draw has seen them paired with Bordeaux, Sion and Rubin Kazan in group B. This may look like a rather easy qualification for Liverpool however, all of three of these teams will be looking to continue Brendan Rodgers poor European form.
Rodgers’ European wrap sheet is not a something the 42-year old would be proud of. Last year they managed one solitary win in the Champions League. Since taking the role of Liverpool manager, overall the Reds have only managed seven wins out of 18 European matches.
These stats loom over the under-fire manager, as European success increasingly becomes a necessity for the Liverpool faithful.
The past couple of months, Liverpool supporters have been venting their frustration over Liverpool’s form. Their frustrations have built increasingly after their past two league results, in which Liverpool lost 3-0 to West Ham United and 3-1 to Manchester United.
These deflating losses are being compounded with Rodgers decisions over the summer, the persistence with selection and tactics as well as not qualifying for the Champions League this season.
Leaving the manager in with much to do to win back the support of these frustrated supporters.
Rodgers has his best opportunity this season to turn around his European form and get the Liverpool supporters back on side with success in the Europa League.
Already in their first European contest of the season, the Reds manager is looking to refresh the squad that has suffered defeat in the previous two league matches. Resting several players which could include James Milner and Christian Benteke.
This will allow for players who have sat out in recent weeks to stamp their authority on continuous starting positions.
An area in particular Rodgers needs to improve upon is Liverpool’s defensive line after his side conceded six goals in two matches.
The manager is expected to call up Alberto Moreno, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure as the Reds seek defensive solidarity this season.
The Europa League clash could also see a heavily anticipated start for the young Belgian Divock Origi. The Belgian has shown his keen ability to score goals and could be a refreshing addition to a goalscoring dry spell.
Since signing in 2014, Origi is yet to line up for Liverpool in an official match. So he should be keen to show his worth as well as start his scoring tally.
Many Liverpool supporters will also hope that Danny Ings receives a second call-up.
The English striker had a tough start to his Liverpool career after playing out position on the left wing rather than a central striking role marred his Manchester United start.
The Bordeaux match will also give Brendan Rodgers a chance to rethink his formation and tactic selection.
Pundits and fans have blasted his persistence with a 4-3-3 formation as it has failed to bring out the best in the squad this season and last season.
Liverpool supporters are also hoping to see the side return to their fast pace all out attacking style of 2013/14, which saw them achieve their best season under Brendan Rodgers.
For Rodgers, the Europa League should be a priority this season. If the manager can lead his side to a successful Europa League campaign as well as consistent winning results in the league.
This could secure his position at Anfield, as currently his managing future at Liverpool has been under heavy scrutiny.
Anfield is hungry for silverware and European success. If this season comes empty handed it would surely spell the end of Brendan Rodgers Liverpool career.
Liverpool has a tough season ahead and yet this new competition could mark the beginning of their change in form.
Liverpool kick-starts their Europa league campaign with a tough away clash against Ligue 1 side Bordeaux. Kicking off at 6:00 PM local time.