Despite losing all chances to go through, Udinese will attempt to record another win over Liverpool and thus continue the good run of results. The Reds, on the other hand, need to equal or better the result of Young Boys in order to qualify for the next round.
Udinese finally ended seven-match winless run
Udinese were always going to have problems this season after letting go several very important players in the summer, and it soon proved that Francesco Guidolin’s thin squad did not have what it takes to successfully balance between their Serie A and Europa League campaigns. Numerous injuries to star players certainly did not help, but, despite all the problems, the Zebrette could have reached Europa League knockout stages, had they done just a bit better against Swiss side Young Boys. Nonetheless, the reality is Udinese need to focus on their Serie A campaign, but the Friulani might be tempted to try and record another victory after recording a 4-1 win over Cagliari at the weekend. Francesco Guidolin can be expected to rest some of his starters, but that doesn’t mean his side will not try to beat their more illustrious opponents.
Andrea Lazzari and Giampiero Pinzi are back in contention, while Dusan Basta could play with a protective mask after breaking his cheek bone.
Luis Suarez set to start
Brendan Rodgers and his side have been torn between the desire to do well in the Premier League, but also to qualify for the Europa League knockout stages, which is the main reason why we have seen several very different line-ups from the Reds in the European competition. After missing a chance to beat Young Boys at home, Liverpool now need to equal the result of the Swiss side in the final round of games in order to go through. With Young Boys playing host to indifferent Anzhi, the Reds might just need to win at Friuli in order to qualify. That is the main reason why Brendan Rodgers has announced that he will field a strong line-up at Friuli, with Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard both expected to start. With the hosts also hoping for a morale-boosting win, we could easily see a high-scoring game in Udine.
Luis Suarez is set to start given he is suspended for Liverpool’s next Premier League fixture, while Lucas Leiva could also play a part as he builds his match fitness.
Regardless of the line-up Francesco Guidolin sends onto the pitch on Thursday evening, Udinese will give their best to win their second game in a row. Considering that Liverpool have no choice but to try and win in Udine, betting on goals appears to be a very good option here.
Top pick: Over 2.5 goals 1.95 (19/20) @ bet365
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.80 (4/5) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 2: Over 3.5 goals 3.50 (5/2) @ Coral