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Liverpool logo
Europa League | Group Stage
Nov 30, 2023 at 8pm UK
4 - 0
Diaz (12'), Gakpo (15', 90+2'), Salah (51' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-0)

Talovierov (58')

Preview: Liverpool vs. LASK Linz - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Liverpool and LASK Linz, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Liverpool can ensure progression to the Europa League knockout round playoffs - at the very least - when LASK Linz head to Anfield for Thursday's Group E contest.

The Merseyside meeting will pit first against worst, as the Reds lead the way in the section with nine points, while the Austrian side have just three to their name and sit bottom as a result.

Match preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reacts on November 25, 2023© Reuters

VAR may have been Liverpool's friend against Manchester City at the weekend, but Jurgen Klopp's side were left to rue an excruciating last-minute officiating decision to go against them when they took to the field against Toulouse on Europa League matchday four.

By replicating their 5-1 success over the Coupe de France winners from October, Liverpool would have wrapped up first place in Group E with two games to spare, but Klopp's second-string XI succumbed to three strikes from Les Violets and saw a last-gasp Jarell Quansah leveller ruled out, as Alexis Mac Allister was penalised for handball in the build-up.

Owing to that humbling 3-2 defeat at Stadium Municipal, the Reds missed the chance to eliminate the other three teams in the group from first-placed contention, and Klopp's men only have a two-point cushion over Toulouse in second spot, which would force them to enter the knockout round playoffs rather than sail through to the last 16.

However, the hosts simply need to avoid defeat on Thursday to confirm a top-two finish, and a victory - which would be Liverpool's eighth in a row at Anfield in the second tier of European football - would also ensure a first-placed ranking if Toulouse fail to beat Union SG.

The Reds coincidentally missed the chance to rise to the summit of the Premier League table at the weekend, although coming from behind to hold Manchester City to a 1-1 draw was no mean feat, even if they could count themselves fortunate that Manuel Akanji was deemed to have fouled Alisson Becker as Ruben Dias saw a second strike disallowed.

LASK Linz coach Thomas Sageder reacts on September 21, 2023© Reuters

The knockout dream is not completely dead and buried for LASK Linz just yet, but Thomas Sageder's side have failed to make serious waves on the continent since the start of the new term and will be consigned to their fate with a dissatisfactory result on the Anfield turf.

However, the visitors are still in possession of a slice of hope owing to their unforeseen drubbing of Union SG on matchday four, where Sascha Horvath, Maksym Talovyerov and Robert Zulj contributed to a striking 3-0 success as LASK belatedly got off the mark in Group E.

Only one point separates LASK from Union SG in third, which would offer a potential route to salvation in the Europa Conference League, but their already-slim chances of finishing in the top two will be extinguished if they cannot pick up a shock win on Thursday.

Furthermore, Sageder's men will be condemned to finish last if they lose and Union SG defeat Toulouse, but they made a welcome return to winning ways in the Austrian Bundesliga at the weekend, where captain Zulj came up with the only goal in a 1-0 victory over WSG Tirol.

Zulj's winner came on the 14-minute mark, which is coincidentally the same amount of time it took LASK Linz to take the lead against Liverpool in their Europa League opener two months ago, but the Reds ultimately stormed to one of their many come-from-behind triumphs this season and have not been beaten by an Austrian team since 2004.

Liverpool Europa League form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

LASK Linz Europa League form:

LASK Linz form (all competitions):

Team News

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker goes down injured on November 25, 2023© Reuters

Normally a reliable presence in goal, Liverpool number one Alisson cut a shaky figure throughout his side's battle with Man City, and the Brazilian also appeared to pick up a hamstring injury in the dying embers of that draw.

Diogo Jota was the Reds' second casualty from their clash with the champions with a leg problem of his own and will also miss out, so Luis Diaz should be granted an immediate recall to the attack, while Caoimhin Kelleher was always expected to start ahead of Alisson anyway.

Thiago Alcantara (hip), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Andrew Robertson (shoulder) make up the hosts' trio of long-term injuries, but Ryan Gravenberch, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate all recovered from their knocks to make the bench at the weekend and could now be introduced into a much-changed XI.

Similarly, LASK Linz should also enter matchday five with a trio of absences to contend with, including Roma loanee Ebrima Darboe, who missed his side's double-header against Union SG with an unspecified injury.

Attacker Adil Taoui is also on the long road to rehabilitation from a cruciate ligament injury, and centre-back Philipp Wiesinger completes the visitors' infirmary, but minimal changes should be expected from Sageder.

Indeed, nine of the 11 starters from their 3-0 beating of Union SG also featured from the off against WSG Tirol, where Horvath and left-back Rene Renner both missed out due to illness, but the duo should be fine for Thursday.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Quansah, Gomez; Elliott, Endo, Gravenberch; Doak, Gakpo, Diaz

LASK Linz possible starting lineup:
Lawal; Andrade, Talovyerov, Ziereis; Stojkovic, Horvath, Ljubic, Bello; Ljubicic, Zulj, Usor

SM words green background

We say: Liverpool 3-1 LASK Linz

With just the one clean sheet to show from their four Europa League affairs this term, a rejigged Liverpool backline may not emerge unscathed against a LASK Linz side needing to adopt an all-out attack approach to keep their chances of a top-two finish alive.

Such a strategy will inevitably leave space for Klopp's effervescent attackers to exploit, though, and the Reds should still get the job done comfortably to advance to the knockout rounds.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Group A

QWest Ham650115
4Backa Topola60151

Group B

4AEK Athens61144

Group C

QSparta Prague631210
4Aris Limassol61144

Group D

QSporting Lisbon632111
3Sturm Graz61144

Group E

3Union SG62228

Group F

3M. Haifa61235

Group G

QSlavia Prague650115
4Sheriff Tiraspol60151

Group H

QB. Leverkusen660018

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