WATCH: Union Saint-Gilloise players celebrate drawing Liverpool in Europa League

Liverpool learned who they will face in the Europa League group stage this Friday.

The Reds – who return to the competition for the first time since 2016 – were drawn alongside LASK (Austria), Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgium) and Toulouse (France) in the Group E of this year's competition.

The draw will likely be received with a nod of approval from Jurgen Klopp, who sees his side avoid some of the trickier, tastier and further afield ties (Qarabag we're looking at you).

While fellow Premier League side Brighton will have to get past bonafide heavyweights Marseille, Ajax and AEK Athens, Liverpool's group by comparison is much more get-out-able and should (should) be a relatively stress-free addition to the autumn calendar.

However, just because the banana skins and long flights were avoided, that doesn't mean the group is entirely devoid of spice and intrigue.

The Reds will have to overcome Belgian upstarts Union Saint-Gilloise, who finished second in Belgium's Pro League in the 2022/23's regular season, before dropping down to third in the playoffs.

Brighton's feeder club – they've hot-housed the likes of Kaoru Mitoma and Simon Adingra in recent years – have form in Europe, making it to last season's Europa League quarter finals before they were knocked out by Leverkusen.

Though by no means newbies to European football, Union SG only made it back to Belgium's top flight in 2021 and are clearly loving getting the big ties.

Les Unionistes posted a video on social media of their squad celebrating emphatically (on a plane, no less) as they found it they would be welcoming Jurgen Klopp and co to the Joseph Marien Stadium this season.

The draw was particularly special for one man: Kevin Mac Allister, who (you guessed it) is Alexis' older brother.

Kevin (pictured above drinking mate) is a defender for Union, having joined from Argentinos Juniors this summer.

Hopefully Kevin won't be setting booby traps for Alexis and the Reds when they attempt to invade his new Belgian home in a few weeks' time.

While we have to wait to know exactly when the Mac Allister brothers will be reunited, matchday one of the Eruopa League will kick off on Thursday, 21 September, while the final group stage games will take place on 14 December.

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