Liverpool v Royale Union Saint-Gilloise – The Europa Group Preview
For those that are still reeling from Liverpool’s weekend of disappointment, at least the wait is not too long before the reds are back in action. The atrocities that occurred on Saturday evening will be talked about again and again, with vital change perhaps being forced upon the VAR initiative. A Europa League night under the Anfield lights offers the best tonic right now, therefore, it is time to delve into what is to come, rather than reliving that which has already occurred. The game will kick off at 20.00 GMT and can be seen on TNT Sports.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 3, 2023
The Royale Union Saint-Gilloise Availability
On the injury front, Dennis Eckert Ayensa appears to be the only player missing for what will be a wonderful away day for the Belgium Pro League side. Their current league position sees them sat top of their division, after a very strong start and 19 points taken from their nine games played. After taking one point from their first Europa League group stage game (1-1 with Toulouse), this encounter with Liverpool will be more about the occasion and the outside chance of taking something from the game. As they travel away from their own 9,400 Joseph Marien Stadium, I suspect their manager, Alexander Blessin will field much the same team which beat Charleroi 3-1 on Sunday. A predicted line up can be seen below.
The Liverpool Availability
In terms of injures, Thiago Alcântara could feature for the first time this year, however, Cody Gakpo will miss this game due to the injury sustained at the weekend. A likely line up is shown below, one that will be heavily rotated from their last game against Tottenham.
The likes of Konaté, Gravenberch, and Darwin, will all likely play little more than a half on Thursday, with a critical game away to Brighton this forthcoming Sunday.
How Will This Contest Play Out
Even though Liverpool will be angry with how their trip to White Hart Lane played out on Saturday, I do sense that it may fuel a desire to propel forward across all competitions. The injury to Cody Gakpo is untimely, whereas the painful suspensions of both Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota (domestically), mean that places are now out for grabs for the next clutch of games. I foresee a strong and dominating game from the home side at Anfield, one that will end in a convincing win. Liverpool will want to safeguard certain individuals, which means a fast start and a stranglehold on the result would allow Jürgen Klopp to use all his substitutions as soon as possible.
Player to watch – Ryan Gravenberch
Liverpool 3 – 0 Royale Union Saint-Gilloise