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Liverpool not about to go easy on Hearts after resting Gerrard, Suarez, Skrtel

Liverpool may have rested some of their key players but manager Brendan Rodgers says those out on the pitch will be giving their all against Heart of Midlothian tonight.

The Reds face the Edinburgh club at Tynecastle Stadium in the first leg of their Europa League play-off but will be without skipper Steven Gerrard, star striker Luis Suarez, centre-half Martin Skrtel and right-back Glen Johnson.

Despite the absentees, Rodgers still feels he is sending out a fairly strong team and is hoping that those he brings in can get the job done in the all-important away leg.

"Hearts will be a very, very difficult game for us so I have still taken a strong squad here," he said.

"It's a chance to see some young players - b t I also have some international captains and some Champions League winners playing.

"We've got a very small squad so I have got to try to protect some of the players.

"And we have a massive game against Manchester City at the weekend to take into account.

"But whatever group we put out will still be with the aim to win the game.

"Our main objective is the league, there's no question about that. But at a club like Liverpool every game is important.

"We want to do well, the objective over the two games is obviously to get through to the group stages. These games are always difficult to forecast but we want to win and we'll pick strong teams we think can do that."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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