Liverpool's starting XI to face Union Saint-Gilloise – Predicted

Liverpool travel to Belgium on Thursday safe in the happy knowledge that the outcome of the game against Union Saint-Gilloise is utterly meaningless.

The Reds are already assured of top spot in Group E with their passage to the last 16 of the Europa League confirmed with a game to spare.

READ MORE: Union S-G vs Liverpool – Match Preview

It's not the same story for their opponents who need to win to have any chance of taking second spot, though dropping down to the Europa Conference League looks more likely, as the Belgians need other results to go their way and a sizeable goal difference swing to stay in the competition.

For Jurgen Klopp this game represents a valuable chance to rest his key men ahead of the big one on Sunday: Manchester United (h).

It would be a very large surprise to see any regular starter risked from the start in Belgium, with injuries already mounting as we get deep into the festive fixture pile-up.

Here's how a heavily rotated Liverpool could line up to face Union Saint-Gilloise on Thursday evening.


Goalkeeper & Defence

Jarell Quansah, ProShots

Though Alisson Becker returned from his injury for the win against Crystal Palace at the weekend – ultimately proving the difference between the sides – the Brazilian will sit out this one, with Caoimhin Kellher set to resume duties as Klopp's cup keeper.

In front of him, Jarell Quansah should start despite his penalty-conceding error at Palace. The 20-year-old has featured in all five European games so far.

There could also be spots for fellow academy stars Luke Chambers and Conor Bradley at left and right back.

Joe Gomez could be the senior figure used to help provide experience at the back, with Ibrahima Konate more likely to be in line for a start against United at the weekend.

Young left back Calum Scanlon is another who might feature, having been registered in the Reds' Europa League squad at the start of the season.

Midfield

With Alexis Mac Allister likely out for the next two weeks, it's highly unlikely that his stand-in Wataru Endo will be risked for this one – despite having featured in all five of the Reds' Europa League games to date.

Instead, 19-year-old James McConnell may get a first senior start at the base of Klopp's midfield – following brief sub appearances earlier this season against Toulouse and Brentford.

Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic's long-term injuries limit the manager's ability rotate in the centre of the park, but Curtis Jones and hero against Palace Harvey Elliott should come in to complete an all-English midfield three.

Germany youth international Melkamu Frauendorf – who has made just two senior Liverpool appearances previously – may well be another youngster called into the matchday squad, as could 18-year-old Bobby Clark.

Attack

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 7, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and SV Darmstadt 98 at Deepdale. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With 200-goal man Mohamed Salah deserving a rest here, Scottish talent Ben Doak might be given another chance to impress on the right side of the front line.

Luis Diaz and Darwin Nuñez too are probables to miss this one in favour of the weekend, though the attack is where Klopp is thinest on the ground in terms of depth, with Diogo Jota injured.

19-year-old Kaide Gordon could make a first appearance since February 2022, following his long absence with a rare pelvic issue.

Cody Gakpo appears the most likely of Klopp's senior forwards to start, given his preference for Nuñez in the big games – though ideally neither would have to play at all in midweek before United.

Having impressed as a striker for the Under-21s this season, 18-year-old Lewis Koumas also has a chance of being involved.

PREDICTED LIVERPOOL STARTING XI TO FACE UNION SG:

(4-3-3): Kelleher; Bradley, Gomez, Quansah, Chambers; Jones, McConell, Elliott, Doak, Gakpo, Gordon.

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