Preview: Toulouse vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news (2024)

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Toulouse and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With victory over Toulouse at Stadium Municipal on Thursday evening, Liverpool will assure themselves of a top-two finish in Europa League Group E with a pair of matches to spare.

The Reds battered the Coupe de France winners 5-1 during their showdown at Anfield two weeks ago, leaving the French side third in the section with four points to their name at the halfway mark.

Match preview

Preview: Toulouse vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news (1)© Reuters

A few months on from the 5-1 crushing of Nantes in the Coupe de France final, which sealed Toulouse's qualification for the Europa League, Les Violets were on the wrong end of such an emphatic scoreline when they embarked on a sojourn to Merseyside a fortnight ago.

The Kop were shocked as Thijs Dallinga managed to wipe out Diogo Jota's quickfire opener, but further efforts from Wataru Endo, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Ryan Gravenberch quickly turned Toulouse's Anfield dream into a nightmare, while also subjecting Carles Martinez's men to their first continental loss of the new term.

An opening draw with Union SG and 1-0 success over LASK Linz are nothing to be scoffed at for Toulouse, though, and if the former overcome the latter this week, Les Violets will be guaranteed to drop down to the Europa Conference League at the very worst if they can defy the odds and stun the Reds on Thursday evening.

However, defeat at Anfield marked the beginning of a dampening three-game losing streak for Toulouse, who fell to a 3-0 Ligue 1 loss at the hands of Montpellier HSC three days after being crushed by Liverpool, and newly-promoted Le Havre stunned Martinez's men 2-0 at Stadium Municipal on Sunday.

Les Violets are now winless in five successive matches since edging past LASK on matchday two, and Le Havre's shock triumph at the weekend also saw Toulouse's seven-game unbeaten home streak come to an end, further weakening any optimism ahead of the visit of one of the tournament favourites.

Preview: Toulouse vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news (2)© Reuters

One of just three teams with a 100% Europa League record after three matches - alongside Bayer Leverkusen and Roma - Liverpool are just 90 minutes away from guaranteeing a place in the knockout round playoffs, having also taught LASK and Union SG a pair of footballing lessons.

With a five-point advantage over both Thursday's opponents and Union SG, Liverpool will also be assured of a route into the last 16 with victory if LASK manage to get the better of the Belgian representatives, but their powers waned at Kenilworth Road over the weekend.

In a game that was overshadowed by reports of tragedy chanting, Liverpool cut toothless figures in front of the stingy Luton backline and were stunned by a late Tahith Chong breakaway goal, only for the returning Luis Diaz to net an emotional late leveller amid his parents' horrifying ordeal in Colombia.

The draw with the newly-promoted Hatters ended a four-game victorious run for Jurgen Klopp's charges, who have also flattered to deceive across the channel in recent times; each of the Reds' last four away games versus French teams has seen the Reds fail to emerge triumphant.

However, Liverpool's five-star performance versus Toulouse saw the Merseyside giants make it three wins from three against the Coupe de France winners, whose only previous home game against the Reds in 2007-08 Champions League qualifying, where an Andriy Voronin strike proved decisive in a 1-0 Liverpool success.

Toulouse Europa League form:

  • D
  • W
  • L

Toulouse form (all competitions):

  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Liverpool Europa League form:

  • W
  • W
  • W

Liverpool form (all competitions):

  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Preview: Toulouse vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news (3)© Reuters

Toulouse continue to bemoan the absence of winger Zakaria Aboukhlal, who is unlikely to return from his knee injury until after the next international break, while Oliver Zanden (hip) and Denis Genreau (back) are out of contention as well.

The majority of players who began the humbling loss at Anfield were also fielded from the off against Le Havre, albeit with a couple of exceptions, as Frank Magri took the place of Moussa Diarra as Martinez opted for a more attacking approach.

Such a move did not pay dividends, although nor did Martinez's five-man rearguard at Anfield, and the return of midfield screen Stijn Spierings should see the Violets coach stick with a 4-3-3 system this time around.

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Klopp has conceded that Thiago Alcantara (hip) is unlikely to make his return to action before the start of the New Year, while there is still no timeframe on Stefan Bajcetic's recovery from a calf concern.

Andrew Robertson is also on the long road to recovery from his shoulder operation, while Curtis Jones was unavailable for the meeting with Luton due to a hamstring issue and is sidelined alongside Virgil van Dijk (illness) and Gravenberch (knee).

Despite a couple of fresh concerns, but Klopp will ring the changes as ever, with matchday three hero Endo among those in line for recalls alongside Caoimhin Kelleher, Harvey Elliott and Diaz, as long as the latter is in the right frame of mind.

Toulouse possible starting lineup:
Restes; Desler, Diarra, Nicolaisen, Suazo; Sierro, Spierings, Casseres Jr; Donnum, Dallinga, Magri

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Gomez, Matip, Quansah, Tsimikas; Elliott, Endo, Szoboszlai; Doak, Gakpo, Diaz

Preview: Toulouse vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news (4)

We say: Toulouse 1-3 Liverpool

A rocking Stadium Municipal atmosphere could potentially spell danger for a second-string Liverpool backline, but Toulouse's lingering defensive concerns are set to prove costly once again.

The Reds may have left a lot to be desired at Kenilworth Road, but a refreshed set of attacking options should help to maintain their 100% continental start, even if the margin of victory is not as emphatic as it was a fortnight ago.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

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Preview: Toulouse vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news (2024)
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