Liverpool win but Hodgson isn’t committed to European run

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David Ngog’s two goals against Steaua Bucharest last night took his tally to six goals in Liverpool’s eight games this season and his hot streak is relieving Fernando Torres of the goal scoring burden.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas singled out Ngog for praise after last night’s game and with Torres attracting criticism from some quarters, Ngog is fast becoming invaluable to a side that has yet to gel under their new manager.

Roy Hodgson rang the changes last night, leaving Jamie Carragher, Glen Johnson and Lucas on the bench whilst Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres were given the night off.

And Anfield was a shadow of itself, with just 25,605 people turning up to a stadium that in previous seasons has got used to watching Champions League standard football.

It was the lowest attendance for a European tie since Vitesse Arnhem visited in 2002 and it suggests that Liverpool fans are more focused on restoring their Premier League status than a run in Europe.

Liverpool are 8/1 to win the Europa League, but with Roy Hodgson’s mind on rebuilding the club, it’s a punt worth staying away from.

Hodgson will take pleasure in seeing his second string triumph so convincingly but the real test comes at Old Trafford on Sunday for a game Liverpool are as long as 4/1 to win.

Napoli were unable to overcome FC Utrecht at home and Liverpool’s 4-1 victory means they now dominate the top of Group K and they are 4/9 to win the group.

Liverpool will be confident of progressing into the latter stages but with Hodgson likely to use Europe as a experiment, the rebuilding of a club in decline will mean the Premier League takes priority.

Liverpool are 28/1 to win the Premier League. See the latest Barclays Premier League football betting markets here.

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