Union Saint-Gilloise vs Liverpool preview: team news, kick-off, TV & referee

It was another late and dramatic victory for Liverpool on Saturday, the Reds beating Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park in the Premier League.

In a game that was fuelled by more VAR drama, Mohamed Salah's 200th Liverpool goal and Harvey Elliott's fierce 90th-minute strike helped the Reds overcome ten-man Palace in London.

It was a result that sent Jurgen Klopp's side to the top of the Premier League table, with Aston Villa's victory over Arsenal meaning the Reds will stay there until next weekend at the very least.

However, Thursday offers Liverpool's senior players a rare rest prior to the big clash with Manchester United next Sunday, the Reds travelling to Belgium to face Union Saint-Gilloise.

With Liverpool having secured top spot in Europa League Group E already, Thursday's encounter is ultimately a meaningless one for the Reds. As a result, there will likely be plenty of rotation from Klopp, who will offer some of his key starters a well-earned break.

Here's everything you need to know about Liverpool's encounter with Union SG midweek.


DATE, KICK-OFF, STADIUM, REFEREE & VAR

  • Date: Thursday, 14 December 2023
  • Kick-off time: 17:45 GMT / 12:45 ET / 09:45 PT
  • Stadium: Lotto Park
  • Referee: TBC
  • VAR: TBC

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Liverpool have only met Union SG once before, a game the Reds won 2-0 at Anfield in this year's Europa League group stage.

Ryan Gravenberch's first goal for the club gave Liverpool the lead at half-time, with Diogo Jota's late effort securing all three points despite some bright moments from the Belgian side.

Liverpool have only faced four other Belgian opponents in the past - Anderlecht (6 times), Standard Liege (4), Club Brugge (3) and Genk (2).

In all 16 meetings with Belgian opposition, the Reds have won 13, drawn two and lost just once - that defeat coming to Anderlecht back in 1978.

WHERE TO WATCH UNION SG VS LIVERPOOL

As is the case with all Europa League games, viewers in the United Kingdom will be able to enjoy the match on TNT Sports or discovery+.

In the United States, ViX and Paramount+ will broadcast the match, while those in Canada can watch on DAZN.

Those in Belgium will be able to watch on Tipik among other broadcasters.

Match commentary, highlights and full match replay will be available after the game on LFCTV.

LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS

In terms of team selection, it's difficult to predict just what side Klopp will pick for this dead rubber. However, he will certainly be without a few players.

Joel Matip's season is pretty much over after he suffered an ACL injury against Fulham, while Thiago, Andy Robertson and Stefan Bajcetic are not expected back until the new year.

Diogo Jota remains sidelined after suffering a muscle injury against Manchester City after the November international break, with a potential return date not yet clear, while Alexis Mac Allister picked up a knock against Sheffield United and definitely won't be risked for Thursday's game.

A fair few starters may be left at home to get a good rest before Sunday's match against Man Utd.

UNION SG TEAM NEWS

Union SG have been flying domestically and current sit top of the Jupiler Pro League, unbeaten since a defeat to LASK in early November.

Their impressive recent form may be down to their distinct lack of injuries, the Belgian side boasting a clean bill of health before Liverpool's visit with no major fitness concerns.

PREDICTED LINEUP

Conor Bradley, Liverpool vs LASK - Propaganda

It borders on impossible to predict exactly how Liverpool will line up against Union SG, with Klopp likely to field a heavily rotated side for the trip to Belgium.

Caoimhin Kelleher should return between the sticks to give Alisson a rest after his heroics against Palace, with young full-backs Conor Bradley and Luke Chambers likely to get a run out. Jarell Quansah, fresh from his start against the Eagles, could partner Joe Gomez in the heart of defence.

The midfield will likely be an entirely English trio, Saturday's match-winner Elliott potentially lining up alongside Curtis Jones and youngster James McConnell.

Cody Gakpo may offer some experience in the front three, with Ben Doak and Kaide Gordon featuring either side of the Dutchman.

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

PREDICTION

The result could well hinge on just how much Klopp rotates his Liverpool team, but Union SG promise to be tricky customers regardless. The Belgians could still qualify for the knockout rounds, or secure a spot in the Europa Conference League play-off by finishing third.

The Reds' inexperience could prove costly against Union SG, with Liverpool having not always looked comfortable when rotating heavily in the past. Think Derby County in the Carabao Cup last year, or the 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury in the FA Cup back in 2020.

Given the result doesn't matter, hopefully we see some young Reds expressing themselves at Lotto Park regardless of the outcome on Thursday evening.

Union SG 2-2 Liverpool

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