USG dead rubber in Europa League allows for much needed rotation

With first place in the group secure, LFC can rotate heavily against USG.

Liverpool FC v R. Union Saint-Gilloise: Group E - UEFA Europa League 2023/24
Liverpool FC v R. Union Saint-Gilloise: Group E - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages
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When Liverpool suffered a very ugly defeat in France to Toulouse, there was a sliver of doubt that the club would be pushed to the final day in order to secure top spot in the group. As things worked out. that was not the case.

As Liverpool prepare to travel to Belgium on Thursday to face Union Saint-Gilloise, they do so with an insurmountable lead in the group. This means it is a dead rubber and the Reds, who have been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks, can make some wholesale changes.

This could allow Jurgen Klopp to rest someone like Mohamed Salah and keep him totally fresh for the Manchester derby at the weekend.

While United appears to be a wounded beast, there are no guarantees in this game so Klopp will be keen to keep his star men fit and raring to go on Sunday.

This is a match that I believe should see someone like Conor Bradley get the start over Trent Alexander-Arnold. Same goes for Luke Chambers on the left side of the defense.

An away trip in Europe could be a fantastic learning experience for the youngsters in the squad and could give Klopp and his team a good look at what they have in the cupboards.

Looking at the attack, I'd give Darwin Nunez 60 minutes or less in this one. Allow him the chance to bag a goal for confidence and get him off the pitch. If he is fully fit I think it is imperative to get Ben Doak a proper run.

With the prospect of Salah fully resting, Diogo Jota, who is returning from an injury of his own could use the USG match as a barometer to show he could be useful on Sunday.

Liverpool have done incredibly well during a very loaded and tough stretch of matches in the last few weeks. They have solidified themselves as a threat in every competition they are in and the depth of the squad has so far risen to the occasion.

The chance to experiment further in a much less pressure-filled match is exactly what the doctor ordered as the Reds must be in need of some respite.

Let a youngster laden lineup shoulder the load alongside a handful of veterans and before it'll be all hands on deck for Manchester United.


Liverpool did the hard work early in group play for this exact reason, so they need to jump at the opportunity.