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Friday, 23 January 2015
Balotelli, Allen and Glen fit for Bolton
Rodgers will have Glen Johnson, Joe Allen and Mario Balotelli available
for selection as he prepares to make a handful of changes for
Saturday's FA Cup tie with Bolton Wanderers.
The trio have resumed full training at Melwood this week and are in
contention to take on the Trotters at Anfield after the manager
confirmed he will consider slightly shuffling his pack.
Johnson (groin) and Allen (knee) have not figured since the trip to
Manchester United on December 14, while illness has prevented Balotelli
from taking part in Liverpool's last two outings.
Rodgers told his pre-Bolton press conference: "Joe Allen has been back and trained this week, which has been great.
"Glen Johnson has had a good week's training, so he'll be available. Mario has trained as well, so he is available."
Three players who won't be involved in the fourth-round tie are
Daniel Sturridge, Brad Jones and Jon Flanagan as they continue their own
rehabilitations from injury.
Jordon Ibe, meanwhile, is cup-tied having played in the competition while on loan at Derby County.
Rodgers added: "We're still waiting [on Sturridge]. He's still working, but he won't be available for the weekend.
"Brad [Jones] is still out and won't be available and Jon [Flanagan] is not part of the squad as of yet."
Due to Liverpool's congested fixture schedule, Rodgers explained he
will give thought to rotating his line-up slightly, with some of the
club's youngsters likely to get an opportunity.
"We'll make some changes, but it's a game we want to win and we want to progress into the next round," said the boss.
"I'll do what I've done right the way through the season and look at
our squad. We've got some very good players and we'll look to make
changes, but not too many."
Liverpool have lost just once in their last 15 matches and are
undefeated since the clash at Old Trafford with United last month.
Asked by reporters whether making changes would present any
disruption to the form Liverpool have produced over the course of their
current nine-game unbeaten run, Rodgers replied: "We've kept it pretty
consistent through December and this last period, and I think the
players on the outside who haven't been playing as much see clearly how
the team functions and how well it has done.
"But we've been able to work more in training, so it means those
coming into that are into a system and way of working that suits them
"It's always a balance between consistency and rotation, but it's
something we're comfortable with. We'll make changes this weekend, but
it shouldn't disrupt the flow of our play."