Rueda admits Liverpool surprise

Young Boys coach Martin Rueda has warned Liverpool it has taken a risk bringing an under-strength squad to Switzerland for its UEFA Europa League clash.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers admits he is protecting key players like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez ahead of this weekend's Premier League visit of Manchester United.

However, Rueda believes Rodgers has been unwise to leave eight first-team regulars at home.

"I do not think Liverpool can afford to turn up without their best players," he said. "Especially since they did not shine in the early season, taking just two points from their first four games.

"That makes me say that we are not far from them. We can embarrass Liverpool."

Two years ago Young Boys shocked Tottenham Hotspur by racing into a 3-0 lead inside 28 minutes of its UEFA Champions League play-off, although the English side pulled back two goals and eventually won the tie 6-3 on aggregate.

"Liverpool are a global club, a legend, and we are very proud to be allowed to compete in the Europa League against them," Rueda added.

"This is a high point. We are looking forward to the Europa League - this is like a Champions League group."

The Young Boys players are relishing the chance to face a club with Liverpool's European pedigree.

"We train every day for games like these. It's a boyhood dream come true," said goalkeeper Marco Wolfli.

"We have our heads up."

Defender Christoph Spycher added: "The anticipation is palpable. It's not often you get the chance to play against such top players. "