Liverpool will open up their 2023-24 Europa League campaign against Austrian outfit LASK (Linzer Athletik-Sport-Klub) later this month.
The Reds have been drawn in Group E of the tournament, with a trip to LASK taking place on September 21, before the return fixture between the sides at Anfield on November 30.
Here, we take a closer look at the first opponents for Jürgen Klopp’s men in the competition…
LASK compete in the Austrian Bundesliga and secured a third-placed finish last term, a position that earned a spot in the Europa League play-off round.
Based in the city of Linz, the state capital of Upper Austria, they play their home fixtures at the Raiffeisen Arena, which officially opened with a capacity of more than 19,000 in February 2023.
Head coach Thomas Sageder took over in July from former boss Dietmar Kuhbauer, boasting coaching experience across Austria and Germany mainly.
They have this year qualified for the group stage of the Europa League following a 3-2 aggregate victory over Bosnian team Zrinjski Mostar.
Liverpool and Die Schwarz-Weißen have never met in any capacity, though share a small connection, with former Reds prospect Besian Idrizaj transferring to Anfield from LASK in 2005.
Austrian league and cup double winners in 1964-65 – their last major domestic silverware – they were promoted from the Austrian Second Division in 2016-17.
They returned to the group stage of the Europa League in 2019-20, having last competed in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup in the 1990s.
LASK also have solid recent footing in European competition, reaching the Round of 16 stage of the Europa League in 2019-20 – the furthest they have gone in the tournament – before being knocked out by Manchester United over two legs.
This season they sit third in the Austrian Bundesliga so far behind FC Red Bull Salzburg and SK Sturm Graz, having won three, drawn two and lost one of their opening six fixtures.
Attacker and club captain Robert Zulj has been their standout performer this term, netting three goals and recording one assist in league action.