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Liverpool vs. Augsburg: Match Preview, Team News, and Ways to Watch

Liverpool welcome FC Augsburg to Anfield for the return leg of the Europa League round of 32.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

After a tame, goalless draw in Augsburg last Thursday, Liverpool welcome the German side to Anfield for the return leg in with progress into the last 16 of the Europa League on the line. The first match wasn't one for the history books, and while things did pick up in the second half, it was Augsburg who came the closest to scoring when Dong-Won Ji hit the post in the dying minutes of the game. Still, it's Liverpool who go into this match with the mental advantage since it's at Anfield and since they avoided conceding at WWK Arena.

Additionally, in a surprising change of fortune, Liverpool will not be the most injury-striken team on the pitch. Since last week, Markus Weinzierl's side has lost their main striker Raul Bobadilla as well as Markus Feulner. That unfortunate news comes on the back of the team also losing Daniel Baier, Jeong-Ho Hong, Piotr Trochowski, Jan Moravek, and Jan-Ingwer Callen-Bracker.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are still working on returning stars Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho to full fitness after long spells on the sidelines for both. They've lost no new players to injury since the last game, thanks in large part to not playing at the weekend. Kevin Stewart, who signed a contract extension on Tuesday that will keep him at the club until 2020, is still out after hurting his ankle while training prior to last week's match. Adam Lallana and Joe Allen will remain on the sidelines as well.

We are approaching the most important week of Liverpool's season, and possibly even of their last eighteen months. Klopp chose a very strong team to start in Bavaria, but he did that with the knowledge that they'd have no game to play the following weekend. This time around, he'll have one eye on his first cup final as Liverpool manager on Sunday when the team travels down to Wembley to battle against Manchester City for the league cup trophy. He will have given careful thought to which players he wants to play in this match, and which, if any, he wants to rest in preparation for the final.

For Liverpool:

Clyne/ Toure/ Sakho/ Moreno
Can/ Henderson/ Milner
Firmino/ Coutinho

Expect to see a similar line up to what Klopp rolled out last time around with a few exceptions. Lovren may be ready to resume his starting spot in the back four, though chances are that Toure will continue for one more game, with Lovren perhaps getting a run out in the second half. We may also see Lucas Leiva slot into the midfield, possibly in place of Emre Can. Daniel Sturridge, who has dental floss and Play-Doh in place of tendons and muscles (true medical fact), may be given a rest in order to save him for the final. Liverpool's star striker has played only nine games this season and suffered long-term lay-offs after two of them, and if that were to continue it would mean a 22% chance of him going off injured should he play on Thursday. Math!

In addition to Stewart, Allen, and Lallana, the mighty Martin Skrtel is still not quite ready to make his grand re-entrance to the team just yet. Jordan Rossiter similarly may be fit as early as next week but will not be ready for this match. Joe Gomez and Danny Ings remain out for the season, while Jon Flanagan is not registered for the Europa League.

Kickoff is in the early Europa League slot for this one, at 6:00PM BST/1:00PM EST, with radio coverage from LFCTV GO online for subscribers across the globe, BT Sport Europe in the UK, and Fox Sports 1 in the US. Elsewhere, it will also be showing on BeIN Sports Australia in Australia, BeIN SPORTS in Canada, TEN Action in India, Supersport 3 Africa in Kenya, and Astro Supersport 3 in Malaysia. You can find other listings at LiveSoccerTV.

We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join in with the matchday discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the game as it happens.

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