As the midweek football frenzy begins this week, 3 time Europa League winners Liverpool will make the journey to France when they play Girondins de Bordeaux, on Thursday night in the Europa League. Bordeaux will host Liverpool in high spirits after a fighting 2-2 draw in Parc Des Princes. After a heroic performance away from home, Bordeaux are sure to take plenty of positives into the big midweek clash against a dispirited Liverpool team and a win in their opening encounter which looks pretty tricky might just provide them the head start they need.
Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have come under loads of criticism for varied reasons lately and the performances on the field haven’t helped them one bit, have they? The Reds have started the season on the back foot with two back to back losses and a draw in 5 league games and the pressure is now right back on the manager to perform in Europe and get themselves back among the wins. Liverpool make the trip to France on the back of a disappointing loss to Manchester United and only a win at the Nouveau Stade Bordeaux would appease the loyal travelling support.
Manager Willy Sagnol has no major injury concerns ahead of the game. He is expected to field the same lineup that started in the 2-2 draw against PSG with Crivelli up front.
Rodgers could be boosted by the return of Henderson and Allen after the midfield duo missed the weekend game at Old Trafford whilst the game might have come too soon for star striker Daniel Sturridge. Lallana could make the bench for Thursday’s fixture.
- The last time these two sides faced each other in a European campaign (Champions League 06/07), the Reds beat them both times in the group stages (3-0 and 1-0). Liverpool were runners-up in the competition that year.
- The Girondins won three of their four qualifying matches to qualify for the Europa League group stages.
- Liverpool have won all of their last five matches opening group stages matches in European competition (CL and EL).
Wahbi Khazri – Bordeaux
The Tunisian midfielder has been in good niche for the French side in that he’s scored 1 and assisted 1 in the qualifying phase and been a key figure for Bordeaux in the season thus far. The 24-year old produced a man of the match performance in their last game against reigning champions Paris Saint Germain playing a part in both their goals that earned them a vital draw going into this all important European game against Liverpool. His current form could be crucial going to the European showdown against the Reds.
Phillipe Coutinho – Liverpool
Undeniably the creative lynchpin of Liverpool football club, his absence against Manchester United was telling as Rodgers’ men failed to work many chances in the final third at Old Trafford. His potential return to the starting eleven will come as a breath of fresh air, as Liverpool and Rodgers in particular, are under considerable pressure to come away with all 3 points. With Benteke set to lead the line again on Thursday, the combination of Firmino and Coutinho will hold the key to Liverpool’s chances of bouncing back in style.
Liverpool to shade it.
Bordeaux 1-2 Liverpool