LASK vs Liverpool
Raiffeisen Arena is the venue as LASK and Liverpool go head-to-head in their opening 2023/24 Europa League Group E showdown.
LASK embark on their first Europa League group stage campaign since 2020/21 on home turf against the most formidable opposition in Group E, which also features Royale Union SG and Toulouse. Their chances of kicking things off in Europe look rather slim, given their underwhelming all-time record against English clubs (D1, L3), with all those four matches coming in the Europa League. However, Thomas Sageder’s men come into proceedings in a buoyant mood after only losing once in their last ten games (W6, D3), including a 2-1 home win over Bosnian outfit Zrinjski Mostar in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie. Qualification fixtures included, the Austrians have only lost once across their last 16 matches in European competitions (W11, D4), so they won’t lack enthusiasm.
On the other hand, Liverpool’s first campaign in Europe’s second-tier competition since 2015/16 comes after Jurgen Klopp missed out on a top-four Premier League finish for the first time since his maiden season in England last term. But the last time they started their Europa League journey in the group stages, the ‘Reds’ went on to reach the grand final, only for the competition specialists Sevilla to beat them 3-1 in the showpiece event in 2016. Interestingly, Liverpool opened the scoring in that fixture, which starkly contrasts their recent slow starts, having conceded first in three of their last four outings, albeit they’ve emerged victorious on all four occasions, most recently canceling out a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at the weekend.