Liverpool vs Union St. Gilloise
| Thursday, October 5th |
Europa League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
Following a preposterous and unprecedented farce of a refereeing performance that cost them at least one, perhaps all three points at the weekend, Liverpool look to bounce back to their winning ways, as they host Union St. Gilloise at Anfield in the Europa League.
The Belgians have had a solid start in their domestic league, sitting top of the table with 19 point from nine games, and are looking to mount a challenge for a title they have not won in 88 years. They only managed a draw at home to Toulouse in the first round of Group E, but will be feeling confident following a comfortable 3-1 win over Charleroi at the weekend.
Alexander Blessin boasts a relatively healthy squad, although top scorer Dennis Eckert Ayensa is at risk of missing out through injury, having sat out the club’s last four matches. Elsewhere, Alexis Mac Allister’s brother, Kevin, is set to feature in the heart of Les Unionistes’ defense.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas; Endō, Gravenberch, Jonez; Díaz, Jota, Doak
For the Reds, another Caoimhin Kelleher start in goal is not out of the question, while a return to the XI for Trent Alexander-Arnold seems likely, as the Englishman looks to get back into match fitness. Kostas Tsimikas will deputise at left-back, while Joël Matip and Joe Gomez could get the nod in the centre, as the first-choice pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté get a full week’s rest.
In midfield Curtis Jones will play as he looks set to miss three domestic games following the appeal of his red card at the weekend failed, while two of Wataru Endo, Ryan Gravenberch, and Harvey Elliott look set to join him. Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago are both absent through injury.
Up top, Cody Gakpo misses out having picked up an injury to his calf or knee before scoring the equaliser on Saturday, while Diogo Jota’s one-match suspension ensures he will feature in the starting line-up, although whether as a wide player supporting the central figure of Darwin Núñez or as a striker flanked by Luis Díaz remains unknown. Ben Doak may see his third start of the season on the right flank.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “We face a team who is flying in the league, is obviously top of the table and is doing really, really well again after losing key players, doing well again, unbeaten in Europe away for a long time. Super-special what they are doing there and we have to be ready.”
Alexander Blessin: “It will be something different against fantastic players like Konaté and Matip. Although, maybe Matip will score another own goal like this weekend. Then we have a chance. Why not?“
The Officials (DEN)
Referee: Morten Krogh
Assistant referees: D. Wollenberg Rasmussen, Steffen Bramsen
Fourth official: Mikkel Redder
VAR: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR), Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, 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 the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.