Trends & Features

Liverpool vs. Royale Union SG preview, team news, tickets & prediction

Liverpool have been flying high this season after an unforgettable campaign in the Premier League last season, which saw them miss out on the Champions League and ended up in Europe’s second-tier competition – the Europa League. After a run of more than five years in the elite competition, they now make an appearance in this competition for the first time since the 2015/16 season.

The Reds got Dominik Szoboszlai, who has mainly made an instant impact at Anfield already, World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch, and Wataru Endo as replacements for Jurgen Klopp’s trusted legs in midfield. Mohammed Salah continues to deliver in attack alongside Darwin Nunez in the early stages of this campaign so far.

Apart from the 1-1 draw with Chelsea in their Premier League opener, the Reds have been excellent both home and away without blemish. They came from a goal down to beat newly promoted Bournemouth 3-1 at Anfield. Goals from Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, and Diogo Jota got the 2019-20 Premier League Champions their first three points of the season.

The much-maligned Nunez then came off the bench to inspire Liverpool to another comeback win against Newcastle in matchweek three. Former Everton star Anthony Gordon put the Magpies in the lead before skipper Van Dijk was sent off moments later, and Nunez’s time arrived when he scored twice in the final ten minutes of the game to turn a losing position into a win for the Reds at St. James’ Park.

Klopp’s side delivered yet another reassuring performance as they defeated Aston Villa 3-0 at Anfield and got their first clean sheet of the season. Szoboszlai got his first Liverpool goal, an own-goal, and a third goal from Salah before the hour mark secured the win over Unai Emery’s Villa side.

Liverpool went behind again on the road at Wolves but came up with another scintillating second-half performance to win the Molineux 3-1 game. Salah, who was highly influential in the game, continued his fine start to the season as Gakpo, Andrew Robertson, and another own goal helped the Reds to their fourth consecutive win of the season. Going behind in games has become routine for the Reds, as they were down to LASK in their Europa League opener. Upon the restart, Nunez converted from the spot, then Diaz made it 2-1 before Salah got his goal two minutes later. Liverpool’s following two results ended in 3-1 wins against West Ham in the Premier League and then Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.

Similarly, Royale Union SG made a solid start to the new Belgian League season, claiming three consecutive wins against St.Liege, Anderlecht, and Leuven. They were brought down to earth at KV Mechelen as they suffered a 4-0 bashing. The Europa League playoff tie against Swiss side Lugano was next on the table, and they won 3-0 on aggregate without conceding in 180 mins. On the home front, they drew 2-2 with Antwerp before suffering a first home loss of the season to Genk. Royale SG drew their Europa League opener at home against Toulouse but have since returned to winning ways with successes over Cercle Brugge and RWDM. Forward Eckert Ayensa is one of the leading lights for this team, and they will be relying on him after last season’s quarterfinal run in this competition.

This will be their first-ever meeting, and having won the UEFA Champions League in the past, Jurgen Klopp might be considering giving it all the attention it requires. The Reds are considerable favorites to not just win on Thursday but to win the tournament overall. And they are expected to start here with a win at Royale Union due to the gulf in quality between the two clubs.

Match tickets

The epic match at Anfield in Liverpool kicks off on 5th October, at 8 PM UK time, and it will be shown live on TNT Sports, with coverage starting from around 7 PM.

European Cup nights are usually special at Liverpool, and Royale should be ready for a treat. They are one of the favorites to win this competition; a first home game of the season could test their readiness. Regardless of the size of the competition, Liverpool fans are always passionate, and pockets of fans from the Belgian side should make their presence known.

Getting tickets for Liverpool vs Royale Union SG tickets should be easy, considering the opposition and status of this competition. Hence, you are advised to search ticket reselling sites should they be expectedly sold out on each club’s channels.

Team news Line-ups
From time immemorial, Jurgen Klopp has rotated his squad for Europa League games. He uses it to hand some minutes to other team players and Academy products. Goalkeeper Kelleher should replace Alisson in goal, Tsimikas could start at left-back instead of Robertson, and Gravenberch is expected to play a part in this game. Curtis Jones is another player who could get some minutes. Meanwhile, Thiago remains a long-term absentee.

Liverpool: Kelleher; Gomez, Matip, Quansah, Tsimikas; Bajcetic, Gravenberch, Elliott; Nunez, Diaz, Gakpo.

Royale is in a 3-4-3 formation in their first Europa League game of the season. Moris should start in goal with no significant injury casualties, while Sadiki and Vanhoutte sit in midfield and Nilsson leads the line in attack.

Royale Union SG: Moris; Mac Allister, Burgess, Leysen; Castro-Montes, Vanhoutte, Sadiki, Lapoussin; Amani, Nilsson, Puertas.

Prediction

Liverpool are now used to conceding in games this season, and it seems they are no longer reliable at the back. Additionally, the Reds have conceded the opening goal in two of their four home games this season, while Thursday pits them against a Royale Union side who have scored in all but one of their matches.

Liverpool has an impeccable record against Belgian opposition, as they have won 12 15 matches against teams from that country. In addition, the Reds have won every game at Anfield (8/8) against Belgian opposition. On the other hand, the Royale union has faced an English side (Birmingham City) twice in their history and lost on both occasions.

Liverpool 4-1 Royale Union SG

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