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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Europa League draw - Tottenham face Monaco, Liverpool meet Bordeaux

Sevilla are the Europa League holders but will be competing in the Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a tough draw in the group stage of the Europa League.

Mauricio Pochettino will meet last season's Champions League quarterfinalists AS Monaco -- who knocked out Arsenal on their way to the last eight, along with Belgian outfit Anderlecht. They will also face a 5,000-mile round trip to Baku to take on Azerbaijani outfit Qarabag.

Liverpool's draw has been kinder, though they too have a long-haul trip to Russia to play Rubin Kazan. Brendan Rodgers' side will...

 By Mike Whalley

Daniel Sturridge under no pressure to make Liverpool injury comeback

Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, talks about his team's hunger, their next opponent West Ham, the return of Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli's loan move.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers felt his side could have gained more from their match against Arsenal if it were not for Petr Cech's heroics in net.

LIVERPOOL -- Daniel Sturridge will be given all the time he needs to prove his fitness after a year of injury troubles, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said.

Sturridge, 25, has returned to full training on Merseyside after spending time in the U.S. recovering from hip surgery.

He will not be ready to face West Ham in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday, but does have a chance of figuring in the Reds' next match, at Manchester United on Sept. 12.

Rodgers, though, is cautious about putting...

 By Mike Whalley

Mario Balotelli loan from Liverpool to AC Milan backed by Brendan Rodgers

The ESPN FC crew discuss Mario Balotelli's statements regarding Brendan Rodgers' tactics during his time at Liverpool.
The ESPN FC panel discuss Mario Balotelli's return to AC Milan, where Shaka Hislop still believes in his talent.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno shares his thoughts on the number of opportunities and playing time Mario Balotelli was afforded at Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL -- Mario Balotelli's loan move to AC Milan will be good for him and Liverpool, according to Brendan Rodgers.

Balotelli, 25, has returned to the Rossoneri on a season's loan, 12 months after leaving for Merseyside to sign a three-year contract with the Reds.

The Italy international's £16 million move to Anfield has not worked out, as he scored just one Premier League goal last season and frustrated Rodgers with a series of poor performances.

Balotelli suggested on his departure that...

 By PA Sport

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool steps up recovery programme

The ESPN FC crew discuss Mario Balotelli's statements regarding Brendan Rodgers' tactics during his time at Liverpool.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop responds to James Milner's comments that Liverpool "have closed the gap on the teams that finished in the top four positions in the Premier League."
Daniel Sturridge underwent an operation in the United States back in April.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge's recovery programme has been stepped up with the England international set to complete a full week of training.

The 25-year-old returned to Merseyside after spending most of the last four months in the United States, where he underwent an operation in April.

Sources tell Press Association Sport that Sturridge began training again at the club's Melwood base on Monday but he is currently working to an individual plan.

While that does involve some ball work, Sturridge...