LASK Linz vs LiverpoolUEFA Europa League, KO: 17:45 Sep 21, 2023, Raiffeisen Arena
LIVERPOOL'S pride may be hurt at having to take the drop down to the Europa League for the first time since season 2015/16, but they start the group stages with a trip to Austria to play LASK Linz.
The Anfield side are huge favourites to not just win on Thursday but to win the tournament overall. They are 7/2 to lift the trophy in May with the next best Brighton at around 14/1.
And they are expected to start here with a win where there should be a gulf in quality between the two clubs.
Liverpool won their fourth game in a row at the weekend, but it was an almighty struggle after going a goal down at Wolves before they eventually overpowered them to win 3-1.
They've won at Newcastle with only ten men and swept aside Aston Villa and will fancy their chances against the side who are currently third in the Austrian Bundesliga.
LASK have only lost once this season at Sturm Graz, but they struggled to reach the group stage after a hard-fought win over Bosnians Zrinjski Mostar in the last round.
And they scored three goals in an eight-minute spell in their weekend success over Austria Klagenfurt, but this is a different level.
HOW THE BOOKIES VIEW IT
Liverpool are strong 1/3 favourites with bet365 even though they are away.
RECENT HEAD TO HEADS
The clubs have never met before in European competition.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Elias Havel has scored twice for LASK this season including in the weekend win. The 20-year-old should keep his place and is 9/2 to score anytime with Coral.
Jurgen Klopp is likely to rotate here and it will be interesting to see if he gives the nod to Scotland Under 21s superkid Ben Doak, who was included in the Europa League squad to get game time. The former Celtic starley can play as a winger or a striker and is 3/1 to score anytime in Austria with bet365. He's quite a talent.
ANYTHING ELSE CATCH THE EYE?
Liverpool really should be far too strong for the hosts here and can get off to a comfortable start against Thomas Sageder's men.
With the return of Virgil van Dijk after his suspension, back Liverpool to win to nil at 11/8 with Boylesports.
The same firm offer 20/23 for the English side to cover a one-goal handicap and that also looks like an attractive bet on a night when the Anfield side should really be a class above.
This UEFA Europa League match between LASK Linz and Liverpool will be played on Sep 21, 2023 and kick off at 17:45. Check below for our tipsters best LASK Linz vs Liverpool prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.