SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 13, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Royale Union Saint-Gilloise and Liverpool FC. (Photo by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

27 Liverpool players in training as 5 youngsters join squad ahead of Europa tie

With changes expected in Belgium, a number of youngsters joined the Reds in senior training ahead of Thursday’s Europa League meeting with Union SG.

The Reds prepared for their final game of Group E on Wednesday afternoon, with a dead rubber on the horizon having already wrapped up qualification and top spot following last month’s 4-0 win over LASK.

With the result having no consequences, Jurgen Klopp is expected to make plenty of changes to his side to preserve legs ahead of Man United‘s visit this weekend, as well as offering opportunities to those on the periphery.

James McConnell is in contention to make his first start for the club, having come off the bench against Toulouse and Brentford this season.

He was joined in first-team training by fellow young midfielder Tom Hill, who has suffered a string of long-term injury problems while working his way through Liverpool’s academy ranks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 14, 2023: Liverpool's Tom Hill during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Everton FC Under-21's, the Mini-Merseyside Derby, at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Now aged 21, his game time with the club’s U21s had been restricted since suffering ACL damage four years ago.

He has, however, managed to become an ever-present in Barry Lewtas‘ side this season, registering seven Premier League 2 appearances in 2023/24 and notching three goals with two assists in the process.

Kaide Gordon was also involved in training on Thursday having dealt with various long-term fitness issues of his own.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 13, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Royale Union Saint-Gilloise and Liverpool FC. (Photo by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

The 19-year-old hasn’t featured for Klopp’s side since starting in the League Cup semi-final against Arsenal back in 2022, but did return to senior training ahead of the victory over LASK at Anfield.

Full-backs Conor Bradley and Luke Chambers are expected to feature having both come off the bench in that game, while Calum Scanlon could also find himself in contention on the left-hand side having recently played as part of a front three with the U21s.

Striker Lewis Koumas also received a call-up, having appeared twice for the Reds during pre-season in the summer.


Liverpool squad in training on Wednesday

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 13, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (L) and Cody Gakpo during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Royale Union Saint-Gilloise and Liverpool FC. (Photo by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Pitaluga

Defenders: Van Dijk, Quansah, Konate, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Tsimikas, Bradley, Chambers, Scanlon

Midfielders: Gravenberch, Szoboszlai, Jones, Endo, Elliott, McConnell, Hill

Forwards: Salah, Gakpo, Diaz, Nunez, Doak, Gordon, Koumas