LASK Linz will play host to Premier League Liverpool in a Europa League clash at Raiffeisen Arena on Thursday.
LASK have never won the Austrian Bundesliga, largely owing to the fact RB Salzburg has a monopoly on top spot, but the 2018/19 runners-up are on the up.
Their free-flowing, attacking style makes for an entertaining watch and has allowed them to start the season in strong form.
Thomas Sageder’s side have won four of their previous five and have reeled off three consecutive 2-0 victories at home.
While the hosts will carry a threat, Liverpool operate at an entirely different level to teams in the Europa League.
Klopp’s side have reeled off four consecutive victories, overcoming several setbacks to beat Wolves, Aston Villa, Newcastle and AFC Bournemouth.
The Reds trailed in three of those fixtures and played the majority of the match at St James’ Park with 10 men. Despite that, their free-scoring frontline fired them to three points.
Surprisingly, Mohamed Salah found the net twice in that run-in with Darwin Nunez (2), Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo, Dominik Szoboszlai and Andy Robertson all getting in on the act.
The broad variety of positions and situations from which Liverpool have scored recently is demonstrative of a return to the high-energy, heavy-metal style that’s been missing.
Part of the trade-off is that there are some defensive vulnerabilities. They’ve conceded in four of their five matches so far this season and will need to be on their guard on Thursday.
Although the host’s energetic style presents its challenges, we still anticipate Liverpool will dominate the ball and find their way through at will.
- LASK Linz 1-4 Liverpool
- Liverpool -1.5 Asian handicap
- Liverpool to win both halves
- Over 3.5 goals