We’re into the knockout stages of the Europa League and tonight you can follow the action as Liverpool and Fulham start their challenges in the last 32. Rafa Benitez will be hoping his side can save some face in Europe after their early departure from the Champions League. And Roy Hodgson’s side can regain some momentum in a season which has lost its way a little of late. Tom Bellwood has all the news from 7.30pm.

8.25: Oh no, at Anfield there’s a scally stalking onto the pitch … a tracksuited idio.. oh, hang on, it’s the fourth or fifth official. Apologies.

8.23: Aurelio strikes a fierce freekick from fully 35 yards who hops past the upright and Gerrard heads a very good opportunity wide. Tick, tock … a goal is coming.

8.20: It is odd at Anfield – a European night that is very quiet. Maybe the fans don’t have the stomach for the poorer cousin competition that is the Europa League.

8.15: Liverpool are having all the possession at Anfield … and I mean all of it but they are yet to fashion an opportunity as good as Gerrard’s earlier attempt.

8.10: GOAL! ZOLTAN GERA gives the Cottagers a very early lead! Murphy started the move, he found Zamora who touched on to Gera, whose shot just eked home under the keeper.

8.08: Fulham are finding the going quite easy, too. Brede Hangland is left free to head two dead-ball deliveries. The first is saved, the other blocked, just. 

8.06: Good Lord. Very early chance for Liverpool as the vistors’ defence went walkies. Ambling into the box, Gerrard fired towards the top left-hand corner which was palmed away by Arlauskis

8.05: Both games are underway. Excellent.

8.02: The Liverpool fans have immediately taken to the competition they last won back in 2001. Over 40,000 Reds fans in tonight and there’s a very decent turn out at Craven Cottage, too.

7.58: So, with the slightly odd 8.05pm (I don’t like change, me) kick-offs the teams are just trotting out at Anfield and Craven Cottage.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Kelly, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Riise, Smalling, Greening, Elm, Marsh-Brown.

Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat, Ilsinho, Hubschman, Fernandinho, Willian, Jadson, Luiz Adriano. Subs: Khudzamov, Lewandowski, Gai, Douglas Costa, Gladkyy, Kravchenko, Ischenko.

7.50: And, right on cue – we have the news from Craven Cottage … Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has made two changes from the side that beat Notts County 4-0 in the FA Cup last Sunday.  Zoltan Gera comes in for Swedish striker David Elm and Stephen Kelly plays in place if Nicky Shorey.

The holders Shakhtar have a notable absentee this evening – forward Julius Aghahowa misses out.

The good news for the visitors though is that the Brazilian forwards Fernandinho, Willian and Rodrigues Jadson all start.

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Aquilani, Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Lucas, Insua, Degen, Pacheco.

Unirea Urziceni: Arlauskis, Maftei, Galamaz, Bruno Fernandes, Brandan, Paraschiv, Onofras, Paduretu, Apostol, Frunza, Bilasco. Subs: Tudor, Mehmedovic, Rusescu, Nicu, Vilana, Marinescu, Bordeanu.

7.40pm: The first team news has landed – from Anfield.

No surprises, Rafa Benitez has gone for the strongest possible side available to him.

The only absentee is Fernanado Torres who is reported to be back within the next couple of weeks.

N’Gog starts up front with Ryan Babel on the bench and Jamie Carragher has shaken off a knock. Javier Mascherano and Alberto Aquilani make up the centre-midfield pairing.

7.30pm: And so Operation Save Face begins. Liverpool can start to put their early and embarrassing Champions League exit behind them by lifting the Europa Cup – or so they’ll have you believe.

Steven Gerrard has proclaimed that Liverpool will be going all out to win the competition this season.

‘For me as captain and for the team, we’ve got one more trophy to lift. So we’ll be giving everything. Anyone who underestimates the Europa League is not for me because I’ve lifted the UEFA Cup before.’

That’s the spirit.

And Fulham have the opportunity to rediscover the momentum of earlier this season which have lost of late. On a run of five defeats not long ago and so a little time away from the Premier League will do no harm.

Read the article on Mail on Sunday

LIVE: EUROPA LEAGUE – Follow all the action from Liverpool v Unirea Urziceni and Fulham v Shakhtar Donetsk – as it happens

We’re into the knockout stages of the Europa League and tonight you can follow the action as Liverpool and Fulham start their challenges in the last 32. Rafa Benitez will be hoping his side can save some face in Europe after their early departure from the Champions League. And Roy Hodgson’s side can regain some momentum in a season which has lost its way a little of late. Tom Bellwood has all the news from 7.30pm.

8.25: Oh no, at Anfield there’s a scally stalking onto the pitch … a tracksuited idio.. oh, hang on, it’s the fourth or fifth official. Apologies.

8.23: Aurelio strikes a fierce freekick from fully 35 yards who hops past the upright and Gerrard heads a very good opportunity wide. Tick, tock … a goal is coming.

8.20: It is odd at Anfield – a European night that is very quiet. Maybe the fans don’t have the stomach for the poorer cousin competition that is the Europa League.

8.15: Liverpool are having all the possession at Anfield … and I mean all of it but they are yet to fashion an opportunity as good as Gerrard’s earlier attempt.

8.10: GOAL! ZOLTAN GERA gives the Cottagers a very early lead! Murphy started the move, he found Zamora who touched on to Gera, whose shot just eked home under the keeper.

8.08: Fulham are finding the going quite easy, too. Brede Hangland is left free to head two dead-ball deliveries. The first is saved, the other blocked, just. 

8.06: Good Lord. Very early chance for Liverpool as the vistors’ defence went walkies. Ambling into the box, Gerrard fired towards the top left-hand corner which was palmed away by Arlauskis

8.05: Both games are underway. Excellent.

8.02: The Liverpool fans have immediately taken to the competition they last won back in 2001. Over 40,000 Reds fans in tonight and there’s a very decent turn out at Craven Cottage, too.

7.58: So, with the slightly odd 8.05pm (I don’t like change, me) kick-offs the teams are just trotting out at Anfield and Craven Cottage.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Kelly, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Riise, Smalling, Greening, Elm, Marsh-Brown.

Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat, Ilsinho, Hubschman, Fernandinho, Willian, Jadson, Luiz Adriano. Subs: Khudzamov, Lewandowski, Gai, Douglas Costa, Gladkyy, Kravchenko, Ischenko.

7.50: And, right on cue – we have the news from Craven Cottage … Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has made two changes from the side that beat Notts County 4-0 in the FA Cup last Sunday.  Zoltan Gera comes in for Swedish striker David Elm and Stephen Kelly plays in place if Nicky Shorey.

The holders Shakhtar have a notable absentee this evening – forward Julius Aghahowa misses out.

The good news for the visitors though is that the Brazilian forwards Fernandinho, Willian and Rodrigues Jadson all start.

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Aquilani, Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Lucas, Insua, Degen, Pacheco.

Unirea Urziceni: Arlauskis, Maftei, Galamaz, Bruno Fernandes, Brandan, Paraschiv, Onofras, Paduretu, Apostol, Frunza, Bilasco. Subs: Tudor, Mehmedovic, Rusescu, Nicu, Vilana, Marinescu, Bordeanu.

7.40pm: The first team news has landed – from Anfield.

No surprises, Rafa Benitez has gone for the strongest possible side available to him.

The only absentee is Fernanado Torres who is reported to be back within the next couple of weeks.

N’Gog starts up front with Ryan Babel on the bench and Jamie Carragher has shaken off a knock. Javier Mascherano and Alberto Aquilani make up the centre-midfield pairing.

7.30pm: And so Operation Save Face begins. Liverpool can start to put their early and embarrassing Champions League exit behind them by lifting the Europa Cup – or so they’ll have you believe.

Steven Gerrard has proclaimed that Liverpool will be going all out to win the competition this season.

‘For me as captain and for the team, we’ve got one more trophy to lift. So we’ll be giving everything. Anyone who underestimates the Europa League is not for me because I’ve lifted the UEFA Cup before.’

That’s the spirit.

And Fulham have the opportunity to rediscover the momentum of earlier this season which have lost of late. On a run of five defeats not long ago and so a little time away from the Premier League will do no harm.

Read the article on Mail on Sunday

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