Charlie Nicholas states prediction for Liverpool v Augsburg
Charlie Nicholas backs Liverpool to stumble over the line in their Europa League clash against Augsburg on Thursday
Charlie Nicholas is backing Liverpool to stumble over the line against Augsburg in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 clash on Thursday night.
The Reds host the Bundesliga club at Anfield after a goalless draw with Augsburg in the first leg in Germany last week.
I see Liverpool stumbling over the line here
Liverpool will have one eye on Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City as Jurgen Klopp aims to wins his first silverware at Wembley.
Former Arsenal playmaker Nicholas reckons the Reds could field a weakened side and as a result, may limp to victory over Augsburg on Thursday evening.
“I still think it’s difficult for Liverpool,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“They’re not very good at home, some might even say they’re not great away either, and it’s one of these situations where they tend to get frustrated when they try to control games.
“What does Jurgen Klopp do with the Capital One Cup final on Sunday? Does he risk Daniel Sturridge, because I don’t think he can really force him into two big games in four days? Does he give Christian Benteke another chance?
“I think if I was Klopp I’d be more interested in winning the final and I think he’ll go with a strong side but not his strongest, leaving Sturridge on the bench.
“I see Liverpool stumbling over the line here.”
Liverpool are unbeaten in five European home matches (W2 D3) since a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid in the 2014/15 Champions League group stage.
Augsburg have won their last two continental away fixtures.
Liverpool lost to Beşiktaş JK on penalties in last season’s round of 32 and to FC Zenit at the same stage of their previous Europa League appearance, in 2012/13.
The 1973, 1976 and 2001 UEFA Cup winners last made it to the round of 16 in 2010/11, eliminating AC Sparta Praha and then bowing out to SC Braga.
Founded in 1907, Augsburg finished fifth in Germany last term to qualify directly for the UEFA Europa League group stage.