Liverpool’s start to the season would have shocked their fans following the number of departures at the club over the summer
Skipper Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Roberto Firmino left the Merseyside club. This came after they had an unforgettable campaign in the Premier League last season. It was a campaign that saw them leave Europe’s elite competition – the UEFA Champions League – for its second tier – the Europa League.
As part of efforts to birth a new Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp got his hands on Dominik Szoboszlai, who is fast becoming an Anfield favorite, World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton, Ryan Gravenberch arrived from Bayern Munich and Wataru Endo. These four players formed the midfield foundation and needed to deliver for the Reds.
Despite the tempting offer from Saudi Arabia, Liverpool held onto Mohammed Salah as they hoped to launch a title charge in the Premier League this season. Given how the Egyptian forward has influenced Liverpool’s games this season, it’s easy to see why the club decided not to sell him and why the Saudis are after him.
The forward made his presence felt in just the first game of the new Premier League season when he set up Luis Diaz for the game’s opening goal against Chelsea. Although it finished in a stalemate, the winger delivered.
Goals from Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, and Diogo Jota got the 2019-20 Premier League Champions their first three points of the season against Bournemouth at Anfield. Once again, Salah played his part. Darwin Nunez might have taken the plaudits on the arduous trip to Newcastle, but Salah still found a way to influence the match by assisting the winner.
Back at Anfield, Salah led Klopp’s side to yet another convincing win as they defeated Aston Villa 3-0 and got their first clean sheet of the season. Szoboszlai grabbed his first Liverpool goal, while Salah also scored in the second half to keep his fine start to the campaign going.
Multiple 3-1 wins came next for the multiple European champions. The first was a comeback win over Wolves at Molineux, with Salah providing the assists for both Liverpool goals and an own-goal. The second one, their Europa League win over LASK, was also a comeback win. Nunez, Diaz, and Salah all scored in the game. Liverpool’s following two results ended in 3-1 wins—West Ham in the Premier League and Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.
Toulouse, on the other hand, has made an abysmal start to the season across all competitions. They have remained without a win since beating Nantes on the opening weekend of the French Ligue 1 season. Draws against champions PSG followed, then a defeat to Strasbourg on the road before two consecutive draws against Clermont and Marseille. Even their Europa League opener against Royale Union SG ended in a stalemate before a second league defeat of the season was handed to them by Lens.
This is a mismatch based on form and pedigree, and Toulouse will have a long night at Anfield. This will be their third meeting, and the previous time, the Reds have a 100% record. Jurgen Klopp knows this is a chance to win in Europe, and he might be considering giving this competition the utmost attention it requires. The Reds are not just huge favorites to win on Thursday but also to win the tournament overall.
The epic match at Anfield in Liverpool kicks off on 26th 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 Toulouse should be ready for a treat. Regardless of the size of the competition, Liverpool fans are always passionate, and pockets of fans from the French side will be there to support their team.
Getting tickets for Liverpool vs Toulouse tickets shouldn’t be difficult, 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.
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.
Toulouse lines up in a 3-4-3 formation in their first Europa League game of the season. Morris should start in goal with no significant injury casualties, while Sadiki and Vanhoutte sit in midfield, and Nilsson leads the line in attack. Long-term absentees like Ylies Aradj, Ibrahim Cissoko, Naatan Skytta, and Oliver Zanden are not expected to feature.
Toulouse: Restex; Desler, Costa, Nicolaisen, Suazo; Casseres, Sierro; Aboukhlal, Schmidt, Donnum; Dallinga.
Liverpool have been shipping in many goals this season, but they have a firebrand attack delivering on all fronts. Salah and Nunez will fancy their chances against this poor French side, while Klopp will also think of wrapping things up early in this group.
Liverpool has an impeccable record against the French opposition, as they have won 16 of their 28 matches against them. At home, the Reds have won 11 of their 14 games, and this stat should worry Toulouse a bit.
Liverpool 4-1 Toulouse