LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers is facing the possibility of being without key players for his first competitive game in charge after David Beckham was omitted from Great Britain’s Olympic squad.
Beckham was expected to be named as one of three over age players for London 2012 but has been informed by manager Stuart Pearce that he has not made the cut.
The move means Craig Bellamy’s chances of making the side have markedly increased which would cast a shadow over his availability for Rodgers’ first games as Liverpool boss.
Bellamy has been named on the 35 man shortlist by Pearce with an official 18 man squad for the Games having to be confirmed by July 6.
Beckham, who had work extensively as an ambassador in the bid team which won the right to stage the Olympics, was seen as a near certainty to be included in the side as one of the players over 23 years of age.
However Pearce called the former England on Wednesday night to inform him of the decision.
Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards, of Manchester City, are thought to be the other two over age players joining Bellamy in the squad.
Should Bellamy earn selection – and remain a Liverpool player this summer – then he would potentially be unavailable for when Rodgers kicks-off the new era at Anfield.
Liverpool enter the Europa League at the third qualifying round, with ties to be played on August 2 and 9.
The Olympic football tournament runs from July 25-August 11 meaning Bellamy could miss Liverpool’s first two matches on the continent, as well as the club’s pre-season tour to North America.
Furthermore, Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates have been named on Uruguay’s preliminary list for London 2012 with both likely to make the final 18 man squad.
GB and Uruguay have both been drawn in Group A and face each other at the Millennium Stadium on August 1, in the final round robin fixture.
Should the Reds’ trio be part of the respective squads then it certainly rules them out of the first leg of the Europa League but an early exit for either side could see the players be back in time for Liverpool’s return fixture.