Predicting Liverpool’s starting XI to face LASK

After an important point at Manchester City, Liverpool take on LASK this Thursday as they look to confirm a place in the Europa League knockouts.

The Reds currently lead Group E and are hot favourites to progress, despite passing up the chance for early qualification in their last continental outing against Toulouse.

Liverpool put in perhaps their worst performance of the season in the controversial 3-2 defeat in France, when a single point would've secured their passage to the knockouts.

Meanwhile, the LASK manager, Thomas Sageder, has insisted his side will not be travelling to Anfield as 'tourists' this week.

READ MORE: Liverpool vs LASK – Match Preview

Still, Jurgen Klopp and co just need a point from their final two group games and have been flawless at home with comfortable victories over Union Saint-Gilloise and Toulouse.

The Reds also beat LASK in Austria back on matchday one – with Darwin NunezLuis Diaz and Mohamed Salah all scoring in a 3-1 victory.

With some injury concerns and half an eye on Fulham at the weekend, here's how Liverpool could line up on Thursday.


All Change in defence

© Proshots - Caoimhin Kelleher

While Alisson Becker's fitness is still up in the air after appearing to take a knock during the draw with Manchester City, the Brazilian would've been an incredibly unlikely starter against LASK anyway.

Caoimhin Kelleher has been Liverpool's Europa League keeper this season when fit and will continue in that role on Thursday.

Many of the first-choice backline are likely to be given a rest here ahead of a busy December period, meaning starts for Joe Gomez and the impressive young Jarell Quansah are likely.

Ibrahima Konate has seemingly dropped behind Joel Matip in Klopp's pecking order amid availability issues, but could come back into the lineup at Anfield.

Kostas Tsimikas should start at left back, though academy duo Luke Chambers and Calum Scanlon may both fancy game-time, having made appearances in the last Europa League tie at Anfield.

Midfield options

Ryan Gravenberch, ProShots

Much like with the defence, Klopp has the squad depth to field a totally different (but still strong) midfield to the one that started at the Etihad, should he wish.

Wataru Endo has started all four of the Reds' Europa League ties and that run could continue, with Alexis Mac Allister likely to be rested.

Ryan Gravenberch impressed from the bench at City and was key in the build-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold's equaliser. The 21-year-old Dutchman has three goal contributions in three Europa League games so far.

Harvey Elliott is another who is fast becoming a cup specialist for Liverpool this season, having played every minute of the Reds' continental campaign but starting just once in the Premier League.

James McConnell, 19, may be one to watch from the bench.

Fresh attack

Ben Doak - Pro Shots.

Ben Doak - Pro Shots.

Diogo Jota's knock at the weekend means he highly unlikely to be risked even if were to be deemed fit to play. Instead, expect Luis Diaz to make a third Europa League start. The Colombian scored in the reverse fixture against LASK back in September.

Cody Gakpo could be preferred up top to Darwin Nuñez, who drew criticism from Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler after the City game. Gakpo is now on a four-game run without a goal at club level. Nuñez is on five.

Whether Klopp risks his most reliable goalscorer, Mohamed Salah, may be the biggest question mark.

The Egyptian has started just once in the Europa League this season, but come off the bench in all four games – netting twice.

While the Reds were poor last time out against Toulouse, there is still relatively little pressure on this game, meaning 18-year-old Ben Doak may be afforded another opportunity to impress from the kick-off.

PREDICTED LIVERPOOL STARTING XI TO FACE LASK

(4-3-3): Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Quansah, Tsimikas; Elliott, Endo, Gravenberch; Doak, Gakpo, Diaz. 

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