With six starters left in Liverpool for the trip to France, depending on who you ask, manager Brendan Rodgers is either giving his youth and fringe players a chance to shine or he's signalling that no matter the result, the Europa League isn't his priority. Reports that have him set to shift his regulars straight back in against Norwich on the weekend, though, make it easier to buy into the latter.
Still, no matter Rodgers' reasons for wholesale changes, the result is the same. And while an almost entirely changed eleven isn't the squad rotation most proven managers rely on to compete on multiple fronts, it should mean getting a few players on the pitch fans will be eager to see in action. There will be Mamadou Sakho, obviously, plus Philippe Coutinho returning from suspension. There will also be youngster Jordan Rossiter.
"A lot of the other young lads are getting great experience out on loan and doing really well," Rossiter told the Liverpool Echo ahead of his expected European debut tonight. "The manager has put a lot of faith in me [keeping me here] and if I get on the pitch on Thursday night hopefully I can repay that. I know I've got a lot to improve on, but I'll keep working hard and listening to what the coaches are asking me to do."
There was some talk of Rossiter heading out on loan like so many of Liverpool's other promising youngsters, but the 18-year-old impressed enough in pre-season to earn a first team place. He made his first appearance of the season against Arsenal, impressing in a late cameo. Now he will be given the chance to build off of that, and it's expected he will line up in midfield alongside the energetic and powerful Emre Can.
"We've got a strong squad," Rossiter added. "For those lads who have been on the fringes and have been working hard, there might be a chance to impress. When your chance comes at this club, you have to take it. Whoever starts will be ready and capable of ensuring we get the three points. It's a European competition we want to be involved in and it's going to be exciting."