John Aldridge states his prediction for Augsburg v Liverpool
John Aldridge looks ahead to Liverpool's Europa League clash with Augsburg on Thursday night
John Aldridge is confident that Liverpool can beat Augsburg in the Europa League on Thursday night – as long as Jurgen Klopp fields a full-strength team.
The Reds head into the first leg of their last-32 tie in Germany fresh from their impressive 6-0 thrashing of Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
With Liverpool currently trailing fourth-placed Manchester City by nine points in the Premier League, the Reds’ best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League may come through winning the Europa League.
Liverpool also have a free weekend on the horizon after their FA Cup elimination, and former Reds star Aldridge wants to see Klopp field his strongest side to give the Merseyside outfit their best chance of reaching the last 16 of the competition.
Writing in his column for the Liverpool Echo, Aldridge said: “The Europa League returns this week and I hope Liverpool give it their full attention.
“For me, it’s huge. It’s our only chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, and I want to see our strongest possible team over in Augsburg.
“We’ve had to play it carefully in the cup competitions this season due to the sheer number of games. We’ve had to give young players the chance, and some of them have taken their opportunities as well.
“But the fixture list looks a little easier now. There’s no FA Cup, and only one big League Cup game remaining. We have a few players back, and I think now is the time to find a settled team and start building up that trust and understanding.
“We’ve a free weekend for once, so let’s go over to Germany and go full strength.
“And who knows, if we play like we did Sunday we could get the tie won!”
Liverpool take on Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley later this month.