ACADEMY director Frank McParland is hoping Liverpool’s youngsters will rise to the challenge when they face Inter Milan in tonight’s crunch NextGen Series clash at St Helens’ Langteee Park (7pm kick-off).
The Reds must beat the holders in their final group match in order to book their passage to the knockout stages.
Since starting their European campaign with three successive away defeats, the under-19s have rallied with back to back home wins over Borussia Dortmund and Rosenborg to set up tonight’s make or break showdown with the Italian giants.
“If we win we’ll go through as one of the best third placed teams and that’s our target,” said McParland.
“We’ve won both of our home games so far and the lads have enjoyed playing at Langtree Park. Hopefully we can make it three in a row.
“We lost 3-2 to Inter over there back in September but they were a lot older than us and stronger physically.
“We had a very young side out as it was the day before the Europa League match with Young Boys when the likes of Suso, Andre Wisdom, Adam Morgan and Conor Coady were away with the first team.
“We’ll be strong for this game and we’ll need to be as Inter won it last year and have some fantastic young players coming through. It will be a tough game but a great test for our boys.”
The Reds will be without striker Adam Morgan following his loan move to League Two outfit Rotherham. The teenager came off the bench to make his debut in their FA Cup defeat to Aldershot on Saturday.
In his absence, German youth international frontman Samed Yesl will start for Alex Inglethorpe's side tonight.
“We’ll miss Adam but what’s really important is the personal development of a player, not just winning one game,” added McParland.
“It’s left us a bit short up front but that loan spell is a great opportunity for Adam to kick on and that’s the priority.
“We’ve got a lot of good players here and it gives chances to others coming through. Inter Milan at home – these are the type of games you want to be playing in.”
Fans can pay on the gate tonight with tickets priced £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.