FC Sion - Liverpool Preview: Klopp hoping to end group stages on top

Jürgen Klopp will be hoping to bounce back from a shock defeat against Newcastle United, and lead his Liverpool side to finish top of their Europa League group on Thursday.

The Reds have already qualified for the next round of the Europa League, but will hope to end the group stages on a high, and put behind the disappointing 2-0 defeat against Newcastle. The loss on the weekend was only Klopp’s second loss as Liverpool manager, and more bad news followed the result.

Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out for a number of weeks, after picking up another injury, so Liverpool fans will be looking for a boost during the final group stage game.

FC Sion won't make the game easy for Liverpool, as a win for the Swiss side will see them top the group. Liverpool have advanced to the knockout phase in all three of their Europa League campaigns they have been in.

Team News

As mention before, Daniel Sturridge will play no part in the final group stage game, and Liverpool fans aren't expected to see him again until possibly next year.

However, Philippe Coutinho has traveled with the squad and could be in contention to make his first appearance since the Manchester City game.

Liverpool will be hoping for similar scenes of celebration in Switzerland. (Image credit: Mark Leech - Mark Leech Sports Photography)
Liverpool will be hoping for similar scenes of celebration in Switzerland. (Image credit: Mark Leech - Mark Leech Sports Photography)

This would be his first game for Liverpool, since missing the last four through injury. Klopp has opted to leave behind key players, such as, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Alberto Moreno, despite them all being fully fit. Jordon Ibe has also stayed in England, after an illness he picked up has forced out of the crucial game.

As some senior and regular first-team players have been left at home, it will give a chance for some youngsters to get some playing time. Connor Randall, Cameron Brannagan, Ryan Fulton, Brad Smith and Jordan Rossiter have all traveled with the squad that will face Sion.

The Opposition

FC Sion currently sit in sixth place, in the Swiss League. They are currently three points ahead of third place, Rubin Kazan and need a point to guarantee qualification. This is the first time Sion are featuring in the group stage of a major UEFA competition.

The reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw at Anfield, where Adam Lallana saw his early goal canceled out, to deny the Reds all three points. Sion will be hoping for a similar result, as it will mean both clubs will be celebrating advancing into the knockout stages. The draw for the last 32 takes place on Monday, 14th December.