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Predicted Liverpool lineup vs. Sion in Europa League

Liverpool host FC Sion in the second game of their Europa League campaign on Thursday night at Anfield. We preview the clash and take a look at how the Reds are expected to line up.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 30, 2015: Liverpool's Danny Ings and James Milner during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Sion. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds go in search of their first victory of their latest European adventure against the early Group B leaders.

A big night lies ahead for under-pressure Brendan Rodgers, with his side needing a victory for a positive start to an important Europa journey after the 1-1 draw in Bordeaux. Also to build on Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Aston Villa ahead of the Merseyside derby for which the Reds need all the momentum they can gather for the potential make-or-break match.

Fans can find the best odds for this match, and Liverpool winning the Europa League, with sites like who offer bookie comparisons.

Sion arrive at Anfield looking to make it two wins from two to cement their place at the top of the group after they overcame Rubin Kazan 2-1 in the first round of games, but they will need to claim victory on Merseyside for the first time for that happen, with their only previous fixture in L4 ending with the Reds running out emphatic 6-3 winners.

Despite their opening win, the Swiss Cup holders come into the clash off the back of successive league defeats and a verbal dressing down from their chairman for their recent form. With a reaction likely to be forthcoming, Rodgers’ side need a strong performance to ensure they don’t find themselves cut adrift at this early stage.


Team News

Rodgers is set to make numerous changes to his side with one eye on the Goodison Park clash, but Dejan Lovren, Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke won’t be any of those coming into the team with the quartet all sidelined.

The Liverpool boss’ ability to rotate is certainly more limited than liked with injuries stacking up, but Rodgers still has enough options to make considerable changes to his starting XI, and that is what he confirmed he will do in his pre-match press-conference.

Kolo Toure and Joe Gomez are candidates to come into the defence, which could allow Emre Can and Alberto Moreno much needed rests after the young duo started each of the last four games in the last fortnight.

BORDEAUX, FRANCE - Thursday, September 17, 2015: Liverpool's Alberto Moreno in action against FC Girondins de Bordeaux during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joe Allen’s return to fitness will see the Welshman take part. Young trio Jordan Rossiter, Pedro Chirivella and Cameron Brannagan, who all featured in the Bordeaux trained with the squad ahead of Thursday, provide numerous midfield options.

After remaining among the substitutes against Villa, Rodgers could hand Jordon Ibe and Adam Lallana starts in wide or attacking midfield roles, while Divock Origi could come back into the side in place of Daniel Sturridge who will be left out of the squad so he is kept fresh for the Merseyside match.


The Starting XI

Rodgers made eight changes to the team for the Europa opener in Bordeaux and a similar number is expected for this fixture too.

Liverpool are likely to continue in a 3-4-2-1 shape, with the formation helping the Reds to score three goals for the first time since February last weekend.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 30, 2015: Liverpool's Joe Gomez during a press conference at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Sion. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The first potential XI Rodgers could name, could see Gomez and Toure slot into Can’s and Martin Skrtel’s roles, joining Mamadou Sakho in the back three.

Fresh after being unused at the weekend, Ibe can replace Nathaniel Clyne at right wing-back, with Allen and Rossiter entering in place of Lucas and Milner to form the midfield pairing alongside Moreno, who stays in the XI with no option to come in to allow him a night off.

With the need to protect Coutinho and Sturridge confirmed as being rested, spaces open for Lallana and Origi to form the attacking set-up with Danny Ings.

Those changes to the starting XI would see Liverpool line up at Anfield looking like this:

Sion 4-3-1-2

However, Rodgers has a slightly different starting team he could deploy.

Though sticking with the same back three, Moreno’s evident need for a rest means Ibe could deputise for the Spaniard at left wing-back with Clyne being kept on the right.

In order to retain some quality in the final third, Rodgers could keep Coutinho in, with the Brazilian playing alongside Lallana in support of lone-striker, Origi. Coutinho has played less due to his suspension after his red card against West Ham.

The slight alteration would see Liverpool look like this come 8pm kick-off time:

Sion 3-4-2-1 correction

Liverpool have a real opportunity to make a positive start to the Europa League campaign against Sion, and it’s a fixture they must make the most of with the chance for some improved confidence and momentum ahead of Sunday’s huge derby clash.

OPINION: Why Rodgers is right to ring the changes against Sion

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FLASHBACK: The last time Sion arrived at Anfield (1997)

Pick your XI:

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