Liverpool v LASK: The Europa League Group Stage Preview

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Europa League Group Winning Challenge

For the return visit of the Austrian side, it represents one of the biggest footballing occasions in the history of the club. This visit to Anfield for the penultimate game in Group E will be more about the occasion for the away side, who have virtually no chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the 2023/24 Europa League. The last meeting of these two sides saw Liverpool run out comfortable winners, as their LASK away day ended in a routine 1-3 victory. Confirmation of qualification can be confirmed for the European giants with a win, with top spot to be achieved in game week six. Toulouse will be hosting Union Saint-Gilloise at the same time on Thursday evening, which means if they beat the Belgium club, they will take the fight for top spot to the final game of the Group E stage.

The LASK Availability

On the injury front, the 2022/23 Austrian Bundesliga 3rd placed team will be without Philipp Wiesinger, Adil Taoui, and Ebrima Darboe. Their last league outing saw the home side secure a 1-0 victory against WSG Tiral. Concerning European form, their last game saw a comprehensive 3-0 victory unfold against visiting Union Saint-Gilloise. LASK currently sits bottom of Group E, with just that three-point victory to show for their European venture thus far.

Below is my predicted starting eleven for the away side, in a 3-4-3 formation.

GK – Tobias Lawal RWB – Filip Stojković RCB – Philipp Ziereis CB – Andrés Andrade LCB – Maksym Talovyerov LWB – George Bello CM – Ivan Ljubic CM – Branko Jovičić RW – Marin Ljubičić CF – Robert Žulj LW – Moses Usor

The Liverpool Availability

In terms of injuries, the ongoing unavailability of Thiago Alcântara remains, who alongside Stefan Bajčetić and Andy Robertson, are all out until the new year. Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota have joined those three players on the medical table, with each new addition nursing muscular complaints from the weekend’s draw at Manchester City. Given the nature of each complaint, the goalkeeper and striker are now likely to be sidelined until the new year, which caused multiple problems for the coaching staff. The Reds come into this game having secured an impressive 1-1 draw with Premier League champions, Manchester City. Regarding their own European venture, game week four of the group stage saw Liverpool lose 3-2 away to Toulouse, which means that qualification is not yet secured. After four games, the Reds currently have nine points.

Below is my predicted starting eleven for the home side, in a hybrid system of play.

GK – Caoimhin Kelleher RB – Joe Gomez (c) RCB – Ibrahima Konaté LCB – Jarell Quansah LB – Calum Scanlon RCM – Harvey Elliott CDM – Wataru Endō LCM – Ryan Gravenberch RW – Ben Doak CF – Cody Gakpo LW – Luis Díaz

How Will This Contest Play Out

I can foresee goals aplenty for the home side, with places to play for in the coming weeks. Jürgen Klopp will want to get key players off the field as soon as humanly possible, which means a fast start and overwhelming pressure will be demanded under the Anfield lights. The injury list will continue to grow over the next month; therefore, I would not be surprised if Caoimhin Kelleher was held back for the weekend.

Player to Watch – Ryan Gravenberch

Score Prediction; Liverpool 5 – 1 LASK

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