Record signing Andy Carroll had made just two substitute appearances for Liverpool since recovering from a thigh injury. In this match he finally got into the starting line up.
Liverpool were seeking to overcome a 1-0 deficit from last week’s first-leg encounter in Portugal without captain Steven Gerrard. Daniel Agger was also not risked. Jonjo Shelvey is back in training but is some way off first-team action, as are Martin Kelly and Fabio Aurelio. Once more, Suarez was cup-tied, leaving a rather weakened Liverpool side.
Braga captain Vandinho was, however, fit to start after overcoming a thigh injury. Alan was also included, although Kaka was benched. Custodio and Elderson are both still on the treatment table.
The defeat ratcheted up the pressure on Liverpool, but they took heart from their recent win against Manchester United and Braga’s woeful record in England. Braga are 3-1-4 against English opposition, and 0-1-4 in their away matches. Liverpool on the other hand have won 8 and drawn 4 of their 17 games against Portuguese opposition (with a 6-1-1 record at home).
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