Augsburg vs. Liverpool
UEFA Europe League: Round of 32
Venue: WWK ARENA (30,660-capacity)
Date: Thursday; February 18, 2016
Kick off: 20:05 GMT
Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
Jurgen Klopp is returning to his native Germany on Thursday for his 11th meeting with Augsburg. The Reds are unbeaten in Europe this season as they try to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.
The Fuggerstädter will likely put up a far stronger test than what Liverpool have faced so far, but if Klopp does pick a strong XI on Thursday his team have the ability to come away from the game with a decent advantage ahead of the second leg at Anfield.
Augsburg are not exactly fired on all cylinders since they returned from their winter break and they might struggle to cope with the quality of the Merseyside club. One positive for the German side could be Liverpool having one eye on their Capital One cup final against Manchester City a week on Sunday.
Augsburg’s Bundesliga record: P21– W5– D6– L10
Liverpool’s Premier League record: P26– W10– D8– L8
Augsburg’s Recent form (all competitions): L-L-D-D-W
Liverpool’s Recent form (all competitions): W-L-D-L-D
Augsburg team news:
- New signing Jeffrey Gouweleeuw is cup-tied so Koo Ja-cheol could drop back into midfield to cover for the injury of captain Daniel Baier.
- Centre-back Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker, Marco Schuster and Tobias Werner are all missing due to injury.
- Hong Jeong-Ho (ankle) is also a doubt after suffering a slight muscle injury against Bayern Munich.
Liverpool team news:
- Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Joe Allen, Jordan Rossiter and Danny Ings are all unavailable.
- There are minor doubts regarding midfielders Lucas and Adam Lallana.
- Defensive midfielder Kevin Stewart, who made his league debut as a substitute in the Reds’ 6-0 Premier League win over Aston Villa on Sunday, is facing a spell on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury in training.
Augsburg predicted starting line-up:
Liverpool predicted starting line-up:
Players to watch:
Raúl Bobadilla – The Argentine-born Paraguayan international is struggling at the Bundesliga club, scoring just four times in 18 games. However, he is still very dangerous in European competitions. Bobadilla and Athletic Club’s Aritz Aduriz are the tournament’s top scorer with six goals.
Daniel Sturridge – The Englishman showed what he brings to the team when he is fit with a goal against Aston Villa. He will likely keep his place in the team and will be partnered by Roberto Firmino. The 26-year-old, who has struggled with injuries this season has netted five times in eight appearances for Liverpool in all competitions.
Match facts (via Uefa.com):
- The journey from Liverpool to Augsburg is around 1,100km.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 7 of Liverpool’s last 8 games (UEFA Europa League).
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Augsburg’s last 6 games (UEFA Europa League).
- Augsburg have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches (UEFA Europa League).
- Liverpool are undefeated in their last 6 matches (UEFA Europa League).
- Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno and Augsburg midfielder Piotr Trochowski were team-mates at Sevilla FC from 2012 to 2014.
- Augsburg right-back Daniel Opare featured in the second leg as Beşiktaş ousted Liverpool last year.
Prediction: Augsburg 1-3 Liverpool