Liverpool lineup vs. LASK – Doak to start as 1 of 9 changes?

Liverpool are back in the Europa League for the first time since 2016 and Jurgen Klopp has already insisted he will not be experimenting with his XI, but who could start at LASK?

It has been quite some time, Klopp’s first season, in fact, that Thursday night football has been part of our regular schedule and it all gets underway at LASK.

LASK, Linzer Athletik-Sport-Klub, ply their trade in Austria and they are currently third in their division ahead of Liverpool’s arrival.

The expectation heading into the Europa League campaign was that the Reds would use the full depth of their squad, and while that could still be true, Klopp is not planning on anything “experimental.”

With that in mind, how could the Reds take to the field against their Austrian opposition?


Team News

Liverpool squad in training on Wednesday

Goalkeepers: Allisson, Kelleher, Adrian*, Jaros, Mrozek

Defenders: Van Dijk, Gomez, Konate, Matip, Quansah, Robertson, Tsimikas

Midfielders: Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Endo, Gravenberch, Bajcetic, Jones, Elliott

Forwards: Salah, Gakpo, Nunez, Diaz, Jota, Doak

* Ineligible for Europa League


Liverpool’s XI vs. LASK

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While the manager is not to throw any curveballs, he can still ring the changes and name a strong lineup – a balance he will be eager to find with West Ham‘s visit to come on Sunday.

Caoimhin Kelleher has started only two games for the Reds this calendar year and this would represent a valuable opportunity for game time, which clearly does not come often behind Alisson.

Kostas Tsimikas and Wataru Endo could also be beneficiaries of the competition, with Ryan Gravenberch in the frame for his first start for the club.

With Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez available, they will provide experience and goal threat alongside the young and exciting Ben Doak, making up a strong yet rotated side:

  • Kelleher in goal as Gomez continues at right-back
  • Virgil van Dijk returns from two-game suspension, with Quansah alongside
  • Endo starts as the No. 6 next to Harvey Elliott and Gravenberch
  • Doak makes first start of season

With nine changes from Wolves, this his how the Reds would look:

Kelleher; Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Endo, Elliott, Gravenberch; Doak, Diaz, Nunez

On the other hand, Klopp could look to Joel Matip and Andy Robertson at the back alongside Van Dijk, Gomez and Alisson.

With Quansah and Ibrahima Konate in the wings, it would not be surprising to see the manager split game time at the back – notably with the captain and Konate.

After a busy club and international schedule, Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister and Mohamed Salah ought to remain options from the bench, though the latter may need some convincing!

Liverpool have the strength to rotate and add their first three points to the board, but that does not mean they can afford to underestimate their opponents – though this XI can get the job done:

  • Alisson is No. 1 and that rings true in Europe
  • Matip to sit alongside Van Dijk on his return
  • Robertson retained at left-back, carrying momentum from Wolves

Those tweaks would see Liverpool set up as follows:

Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Elliott, Gravenberch; Doak, Diaz, Nunez

It is going to be an interesting evening on Thursday, and do not forget it is the earlier kick-off time of 5.45pm (BST)!

A handful of changes will be expected, but it would not be all that surprising to see Klopp attempt to retain some consistency in his lineup and keep them to a minimum – especially for the first group game.

Time will tell, but there will be plenty of excitement if Doak and Gravenberch both feature in the XI.

Up the Reds.