Toulouse vs. Liverpool
Europa League Group Stage (4) | Stadium de Toulouse
November 9, 2023 | 5.45pm (GMT)
The Reds are in France for their fourth group game of the Europa League campaign, just two weeks after they first dispatched Toulouse to the tune of 5-1.
Klopp’s men head into the match after a disappointing draw at Luton, but they will not be short on motivation on Thursday evening.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of match at Toulouse.
1. Jones, Gravenberch and Van Dijk not available
Ryan Gravenberch is also a notable absentee with a slight knee issue, leaving Klopp with a decision to make on the left of midfield.
2. A win guarantees knockout football
The permutations are simple for Liverpool, win and they qualify for the knockout stages with two games to spare.
And if Union SG fail to be LASK in the other group game, the Reds will automatically finish as group winners and thus avoid the knockout play-off round in February.
Sealing qualification here would give the team needed breathing space during a busy run of fixtures on their return from the November international break. Let’s hope they do it the easy way this time!
3. Not smooth sailing for the hosts
Since facing the Reds two weeks ago, Toulouse have lost both of their games played – losing by an aggregate score of 5-1 – to extend their run without a victory to five.
Their last win, in fact, came against LASK in the second group game of this competition, and the 1-0 win was also the last time they kept a clean sheet.
So, plenty of opportunity for Liverpool against the French side, who will be expected to deploy a 4-3-3 system against the Reds after utilising a back five at Anfield.
Possible Toulouse XI: Restes; Desler, Diarra, Nicolaisen, Suazo; Sierro, Spierings, Casseres Jr; Donnum, Dallinga, Magri
4. Advice for travelling fans
This is the first visit to Toulouse since 2007 and the trip promises to be one to look forward to for travelling Reds and we have some advice for those making the trip.
“I am confident that the home fans will behave perfectly with us and that it’s going be a big party of people celebrating European football,” Nicolas Souyris, a Toulouse-based Red, told This Is Anfield.
When looking for a place to hole up pre and post-match, St Cyprien, Esquirol, Capitole, la Daurade, Jean Jaures, Jeanne d’Arc, Palais de Justice, Carmes and François Verdier are your best options.
Toulouse’s stadium holds 33,150 and promises to be quite the atmosphere.
5. It’s an early start
We are used to late kick-offs during the week, but do not fall into the trap of thinking this match is an 8pm start, it actually gets underway at 5.45pm (GMT).
It is the case for all our away games in the group stage and is a nice change from the usual routine.
Let’s hope this one ends with the same result as the first away trip in Europe this season, it would allow for a lot of flexibility for the final two games!
6. 10 more changes for the Reds?
Another midweek game makes for more rotation for Klopp, who could retain just one player from the draw at Luton.
Possible Reds XI: Kelleher; Gomez, Matip, Quansah, Tsimikas; Endo, Elliott, Mac Allister; Doak, Gakpo, Diaz
7. A club record on the line
In what will be Klopp’s 450th game in charge of Liverpool, his team have the chance to set a new club record.
If his team win, they will have the most points amassed in a Europa League group stage in the club’s history – surpassing the 10 points achieved in 2010/11, 2012/13 and 2015/16.
In each of those campaigns, the Reds finished top of their group – though they will want to follow in the footsteps of 2015/16 having been the only campaign of the three to be in the final.
8. 3 already over 1,000 minutes
They are the type of players who want to play every game, but this is where careful management is needed and Liverpool should be able to get the job done without needing to call on the trio.
Salah (1,128 minutes), Szoboszlai, (1,107) and Alisson (1,080) are the only players to rack up over 1,000 minutes for the Reds so far this season and they are needed on Sunday more than they will be in Toulouse.
They have all travelled but let’s hope the Reds do not need them.
9. The man in the middle
We have a new referee to have a look at, with Georgi Kabakov, of Bulgaria, taking the reigns in the middle – he’s never been in charge of either Liverpool or Toulouse.
We have enough referee talking points in the Premier League, let’s hope we keep it isolated to the league.
10. How you can follow the match
Toulouse vs. Liverpool will be shown live on TNT Sports 1 in the UK, with coverage starting at 5pm ahead of the 5.45pm kick off.
But if you prefer some biased commentary, then our usual matchday live blog is the place to turn – Sam Millne is at the helm to keep you informed and entertained from 5pm.
Up the Reds!