Liverpool will look to book their place in the next round and maintain their 100 per cent record in the Europa League on Thursday evening when they take on Toulouse at the Stadium de Toulouse.
The Reds smashed Toulouse 5-1 during their showdown at Anfield a fortnight ago, thereby, following up wins over LASK and Union Saint-Gilloise. However, they cut a toothless figure in the 1-1 draw with newbies Luton Town on Sunday in the Premier League, which ended a four-game victorious run for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Klopp will expect a stirring response from his boys against Toulouse, who are third in Group E with four points from opening three games.
Liverpool Team News
Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk is one of six notable Liverpool players to miss out on the trip to France to face Toulouse. Fellow Dutchman Ryan Gravenberch has also not travelled, despite a string of impressive performances.
It is a similar story for midfield duo Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones, with the former yet to play this season due to a persistent hip problem, while the latter is likely due to just being rested. Meanwhile, Stefan Bajcetic and Andy Robertson remain out with muscle and shoulder injuries, respectively.
Predicted Liverpool lineup vs Toulouse (4-3-3)
Jurgen Klopp is likely to rotate his squad here, and Caoimhin Kelleher is expected to start in goal. The Northern Irishman will be hoping to repay the manager’s faith by keeping a clean sheet against Toulouse.
In front of Kelleher, Joel Matip should replace Virgil van Dijk in central defence. The Cameroonian should start alongside Jarell Quansah, with Kostas Tsimikas and Joe Gomez acting as the full-backs.
Gomez and Tsimikas will look to protect the central defenders and keep the Toulouse wingers quiet. Matip and Quansah must communicate well throughout the game and keep things tight at the back.
As Alexis Mac Allister has received a one-match domestic ban for picking up five yellow cards last weekend, he is expected to start in midfield. The Argentinean World Cup winner could start alongside Wataru Endo and Harvey Elliot in the Liverpool engine room.
Endo will start in the No.6 role, and he will look to break up the opposition attacks and act as a safety blanket for the Liverpool backline. With the Japanese behind, Mac Allister and Elliot should get the license to bomb forward and link up with the forwards in the final third.
Dominik Szoboszlai could come on in the second half of the game to add more energy and bite to the Reds’ midfield.
Cody Gakpo will be tasked with leading the Liverpool attack, with Darwin Nunez dropping to the bench. Amidst personal problems, Luiz Diaz has travelled with the squad to France and could start on the left flank. The Colombian came off the bench and scored a stoppage-time equaliser against Luton on Sunday.
Talented youngster Ben Doak could get an opportunity to impress off the right. Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota are expected to feature against Toulouse on Thursday in some capacity.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.