Liverpool - Union Saint-Gilloise predictions and free betting tips [05/10/2023]
On Thursday, 5 October, as part of the second round of the Europa League group stage, Liverpool will host Madrid's Union-SG at their home ground. The Reds are leading in Group E, having beaten LASK Linz 3:1 in the first round, while the Belgian team drew 1:1 with Toulouse.
Liverpool: Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Elliott, Endo, Gravenberch; Salah, Nunez, Jota.
Union-SG: Morris; Mac Allister, Burgess, Leysen; Castro-Montes, Sadiki, Vanhoutte, Lapoussin; Amani, Nilsson, Puertas.
The match will take place in Liverpool at Anfield Stadium.
Last season's fifth-placed team in the Premier League, Liverpool couldn't secure a Champions League spot and is now settling for appearances in the Europa League. Despite rotating players, the English team was successful in the first round, winning 3:1 against LASK Linz two weeks ago. In the national premiere, the Reds are in the 4th position after 7 rounds, with 16 points to their credit. Two weeks ago, the Merseysiders beat West Ham 3:1, only to lose 2:1 to Tottenham in a dramatic ending. Luis Diaz's first-half goal was erroneously ruled offside, just 10 minutes after Curtis Jones was controversially sent off the field following a VAR check. Midway through the second half, the Reds were reduced to nine men when Diogo Jota received two yellow cards, and in the 96th minute, Joel Matip deflected a volley from Pedro Porro into his own goal.
Guest forward Cody Gakpo will be out for several weeks due to a knee injury suffered in the first half of the match against Tottenham. Thiago Alcantara will miss the match due to injury once again, but Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to be fully recovered and ready to take to the field. Jurgen Klopp will likely deploy a hybrid line-up, led by Mo Salah, who continues to perform at a very high level, with 3 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League. It's also possible that Uruguayan Darwin Nunez (3 Premier League goals) and Luis Diaz will start. Caoimhin Kelleher will replace Alisson Becker in goal, while Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas will be on the flanks of the defence.
Union Saint-Gilloise is featuring in the Europa League for the second consecutive year and reached the quarterfinals of the competition last season, where they were defeated by Bayer Leverkusen (5:2 on aggregate). Despite their experience, the Belgians couldn't defeat Toulouse in the first round (1:1): Teaze Dallinaga put the French team ahead, but the team tied the score in the 69th minute, courtesy of Mohammed Amura, who scored his fourth goal in three recent matches. Over the past weeks, the Brussels team has claimed victories over Cercle Brugge (0:2), Molenbeek (2:3) and last Sunday, they overcame Charleroi at home with a 3:1 score that allowed them to remain at the top of the table - although only due to a better goal difference after six rounds.
These teams have never met each other in history.
Match Prediction: Liverpool vs Union-SG
Union's impressive away form gives grounds for hope of a sensation. However, Liverpool surpasses their opponents in class too much to allow a setback on their own pitch, especially in the second round of the group stage - when the fate of the top spot is still undecided. Even if Klopp decides to rest a few key players, the Reds should have no problem claiming maximum points and focusing on their upcoming Premier League match against Brighton. My prediction – home team victory with a goal difference of -1.5.
Liverpool has been averaging 3 goals per game at the start of the new season. Given that they will now be up against a team clearly inferior in class to even a Premier League's underdog, it's reasonable to bet on Liverpool's ITO of more than 2.5.
Liverpool will take the initiative and will win in all key figures, including corners (handicap -2.5).
Yellow Card Prediction
Union will have to foul a lot to keep up with the formidable attacking force of the opposition. I'm betting on the visitors to win the yellow cards count.
I'm going to bet on the exact score being 4:1 in favour of Liverpool.