Union St. Gilloise vs Liverpool
| Thursday, December 14th |
Europa League |
5:45PM BST / 12:45PM EST
As the Reds look to play out the final round of the Europa League group stage with an away trip to Union St. Gilloise, everybody tries to pretend they’re not just thinking about the visit from Manchester United on Sunday.
Liverpool put the Belgian’s to the sword in a 2-0 win at Anfield back in October, but USG are still in with a shot at second place and knockout stage qualification should Toulouse fall to LASK — having drawn in both previous meetings with the French outfit — and are expected to come at tomorrow’s fixture full tilt.
Manager Alexander Blessin can call on an injury free squad, including top scorer Mohamed Amoura and playmaker Cameron Puertas, as the Belgians look to take advantage of what is expected to be a watered down Liverpool starting XI.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Kelleher; Bradley, Gomez, Quansah, Chambers; Endō, Jones, Elliott; Szoboszlai, Gakpo, Doak
For the Reds, Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold have all remained on Merseyside, meaning that — more than usual in this competition — Liverpool will be relying on second stringers and youngsters to carry the load.
Caoimhín Kelleher starts in goal, likely with Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez in front of him, while Luke Chambers and Conor Bradley could potentially man the fullback spots.
In midfield, Wataru Endō likely gets another start in the six, albeit with Alexis Mac Allister’s injury possibly keeping the Argentinian out of contention for Sunday, don’t be surprised if the Japanese midfielder is substituted early. Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott likely round out the centre of the park, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch waiting in the wings.
Up top, expect a start for ben Doak, while Cody Gakpo could take up either the left flank or central striker position. A run-out for Darwin Núñez to get some goals and confidence isn’t out of the question, but Szoboszlai partaking in the front line could also be an option.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “It is really important you find a group who can really fight in a game, who can really go for it, because that is the job to do. We are physically in the situation to do that and from a determination point of view as well; I think we found that and I hope we can choose that line-up because you never know what happens overnight. The line-up in my mind, the line-up we used today in training, would mean we have a good mix between a bit more experience and youth. We want to go for it.”
Alexander Blessin: “We need a good day and a little luck. And the supporters will have to push us to the limit. I’m already looking forward to feeling the atmosphere, even though we’re not really playing at home.”
The Officials (ISR)
Referee: Orel Grinfeeld
Assistant referees: Roy Hassan, Idan Yarkoni
Fourth official: Gal Leibovitz
VAR: Ziv Adler, Roi Reinshreiber
Kickoff is set for 5:45PM GMT/12:45PM 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.