Brendan Rodgers has used the international break to map out Liverpool's blueprint for the busy fixture period ahead.

The Reds tackle five fixtures spanning three competitions over the next 14 days, including a return to Champions League action following a five-year absence.

Aided by the club's strength in depth after a transfer window the manager described as "very, very good with a lot of hard work going into it," Rodgers and his technical team have planned in detail for the taxing two-week period.

Liverpool face Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday, before welcoming Ludogorets to the ground on Tuesday evening. A trip to West Ham follows on September 20, with a Capital One Cup tie at home to Middlesbrough three days later. The action reaches a crescendo with the Merseyside Derby at Anfield on the 27th, with the 41-year-old drawing up designs for the quintet of fixtures.

"We've planned the teams out for the next five games all the way through to Everton, but of course you have to allow for injuries and such," revealed Rodgers at his press conference ahead of the Villa encounter.

"It's something we were working hard on during the international break. It's very important to be able to rotate, but also to maintain the consistency from the team and I think the best sides are able do that.

"There will be changes in games, but there won't be wholesale changes because as I've said, you still need that core group of players to get you through."

Part of the planning was also to afford Steven Gerrard, who retired from international duty in July, extended time off so he could be revitalised ahead of the lively period.

"In 14 years, it was his first international break after giving his country everything, so it was good for him to have that breather and I'm sure he enjoyed it," said the manager.

"I also gave him an extra few days off to recover, knowing that we've got a hectic schedule coming up over the next couple of months.

"Steven looks after himself ever so well, he's a great professional. He's coming back this week refreshed and has looked very good."