Europa Preview 5

Liverpool’s 2015/16 UEFA Europa League campaign will continue on Thursday, with the Reds ready to host their Group B rivals from France, FC Bordeaux at Anfield. A win tomorrow could ensure Liverpool’s qualification in the second round of the tournament and manager Jurgen Klopp will probably be looking to finish the game tomorrow, rather than wait till the final group game against group leader Sion.


‘Almost’ to the next round

Group Table

Liverpool are currently just two points behind Group B leaders FC Sion, who have almost secured their place in the next round. However, Bordeaux still have a mathematical chance of progressing through to the next round, provided they defeat the Reds by a margin of 2 or more goals. Thus, it would fair to expect the French side starting with an attacking outlook at Anfield. Yet, judging by their current position in the French Ligue 1 table, where they sit at 14th, it won’t be easy for them to defeat a revived Liverpool FC under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.


Klopp could field a fairly strong squad

With tomorrow’s game almost sure to assure Liverpool’s progress to the next round, Klopp could field a relatively stronger squad, compared to those that featured in the tournament games in the recent past. Since the game will be played at Anfield, Klopp could take a gamble by fielding top players like Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren. However, it appears likely that first-choice goalie Simon Mignolet could be replaced by Adam Bogdan for the game. The likes of Christian Benteke and Philippe Coutinho could feature on the bench as well. A notable absentee in the game will be top Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel who is reportedly out with an illness. With a crucial Premier League fixture against league rivals Swansea City at home on Sunday, Klopp will perhaps, do his best to ensure that top players in the squad don’t get tired.


Head to head

Liverpool have played against Bordeaux on only 3 occasions, all after 2006. The two sides last met on 17th September in the Europa League, when Brendan Rodgers was Liverpool’s manager. The Reds were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in the game, despite taking the deserving lead through Adam Lallana. On the other two occasions, Liverpool came out comfortable victors, netting a total of 4 goals in two games. Klopp’s approach has already brought new energy to the Liverpool squad, as was witnessed in the last game against Manchester City. If the Reds will play with the enthusiasm that they displayed at the Etihad Stadium, Liverpool’s qualification to the next round of the tournament is confirmed.

Liverpool Possible Starting XI


Clyne – Toure – Lovren – Moreno

Milner – Lucas – Can

Lallana – Firmino


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