On Thursday, Liverpool will take on Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League group stage, and Anfield will host its first Europa League match in seven years. So, what can we anticipate from this Europa League game at Anfield?
Anfield has amassed a stellar record in the Europa League with the Reds going 18-6-1 at home since 2010. Anfield’s numbers continue to impress with Liverpool sporting an astounding +31 goal differential as a result of the Reds netting 48 goals while conceding just 17.
And before we assume this dominance has been accumulated against subpar competition, we should know that Anfield has hosted Europa League matches against Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Villarreal, and Benfica.
The Reds’ record in these home matches is 6-0-0 with a goal differential of +12 (18 scored, 6 allowed).
Anfield’s Europa League matches also produce thrilling football, and none has provided more entertainment than Liverpool’s 2016 match against Borussia Dortmund.
Anfield hosted die Schwarzgelben in the second-leg of the quarterfinal, and the Reds entered the match leading 1-0 on aggregate.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan erased the Reds’ away goal advantage in just five minutes, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Dortmund the aggregate lead just four minutes later.
Divock Origi brought Liverpool back to life with a goal in the 48th minute, but Dortmund responded with a goal in the 57th minute.
Philippe Coutinho and Mamadou Sakho added two more goals for Liverpool, and the game moved into stoppage time tied 3-3 with Dortmund set to advance on away goals.
But Anfield conjured up some magic in the 91st minute when James Milner floated a cross over the 6-yard box, and Dejan Lovren buried the header in the back of the net to complete one of the greatest comebacks in Anfield history.
Liverpool will try to keep this good Europa momentum going on Thursday, but USG has never played against the Reds at home or away, so it’ll be new territory for both teams.
But if history often repeats itself, the Reds should take care of business at Anfield.