BRENDAN RODGERS has slammed the Premier League for forcing Liverpool to play Swansea City in the Premier League at Anfield tomorrow – their third game in the space of just six days.
The visit of Rodgers’ former club was due to take place next Sunday but had to be rescheduled due to the Swans’ involvement in the Capital One Cup final against Bradford City.
Rodgers expected the game to be arranged for later in the season and was left fuming when top flight officials ruled it must be brought forward a week due to both teams having a free weekend following their early exits from the FA Cup.
“I am very disappointed with the Premier League,” he said. “The game wasn’t scheduled until February 24 and there were a number of weeks after that when we could have played it.
“To put it in a week when we have played on a Monday and then had a trip to Russia on the Thursday is another example of how the Premier League don’t help the teams in this country whatsoever.
“Every other country in Europe try to help their teams. Some of them play in the league on a Friday before a European game.
“For us to have it thrown in there ahead of the second leg of our European tie when there are other free weeks was bemusing to say the least. It’s not ideal but it’s in the fixture list and we have to play it.”
The Reds boss is ready to ring the changes in a bid to combat fatigue and secure a much needed victory following damaging back to back defeats to West Brom and Zenit St Petersburg.
Striker Daniel Sturridge will return to the side after recovering from a thigh problem, while defender Daniel Agger will earn a recall after being rested for European duty.
Rodgers is also considering handing a full debut to Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
“We may need to freshen up the team a wee bit,” he said.
“Daniel Sturridge will be fit for Sunday and that’s great for us. He has come in and made a terrific impact.
“When you have someone like that who can stretch the game he is vital. You have seen in the games that he hasn’t played that he is a real big miss.
“We have had to manage Daniel Agger all through the season and while we were in Russia he stayed here and trained.
“Coutinho is certainly in my thinking.”
Tomorrow will be the third time Rodgers has faced Swansea since he left the Liberty Stadium to take over at Liverpool last summer.
Michael Laudrup’s side knocked the Reds out of the Capital One Cup 3-1 at Anfield in October and the following month the teams drew 0-0 in the league in South Wales.
Rodgers said: “I have nothing but great memories of my time there.
“I always want to wish Swansea well because they’re a terrific club but I’m the manager of Liverpool and I’m desperate for us to succeed.
“Up until Monday, our home form had been much improved. We need to get back on the horse and get a good result.”