Europa League: Previewing the games involving Liverpool, West Ham and Brighton

By on November 8, 2023

Kaoru Mitoma

Another round of exciting Europa League action is in sight with some fate-deciding fixtures. While victory for some teams will all but confirm progress to the next round, defeat for some will leave them in an unlikely position to qualify.

Some might go down to the Conference League while others will get completely knocked out of European competitions this season.

Here’s a preview of how the British teams will fare along with their counterparts in the next round of Europa League fixtures.


Rangers are set to host Sparta Prague in the fourth game week of the Europa League group stage, with both teams currently sharing the same points and goal difference.

So far, both sides have secured a victory and a draw in the group stage. However, Real Betis currently lead the group, making this upcoming match crucial for both Rangers and Sparta.

The Gers have had a somewhat inconsistent start to their Group C campaign in the Europa League. They’ve achieved one win, one draw, and one defeat, placing them in third position in the group. They’ve managed to score just two goals in these matches, which is the main reason they are slightly behind Sparta, who share the same goal difference.

In their last domestic match, Rangers showed great attacking flair by defeating Dundee 5-0.  This attacking quality will be crucial as they face Sparta again, especially after the closely contested goalless draw in the reverse fixture where neither team managed to score.

The previous match was a tightly contested battle, with both teams having similar possession and matching shots on target. This suggests that another close game can be expected in their upcoming encounter.

Given that both teams have a chance to move to the top of the group if other results go their way, there’s a lot at stake in this match. However, they also need to be wary of Aris Limassol, who are just one point behind them in the group standings.


Rangers made several changes in their recent match, with Leon Balogun, Ryan Jack, Scott Wright, and Danilo returning to the team. Given the positive result, they might retain their places for the upcoming game.

However, central midfielder José Cifuentes is unavailable due to a knock he suffered.

Sparta will be without their talisman and captain, Ladislav Krejci, due to injury. He represented his country against the Faroe Islands a couple of weeks ago but hasn’t been seen in action since then.

Jan Kuchta is expected to lead the attacking line as he looks for his first goal in the Europa League this season.


West Ham United are gearing up to face Greek counterparts, Olympiacos at the London Stadium on Thursday.

In their previous Europa League match, West Ham’s 17-game unbeaten streak came to an end as they lost to Olympiacos. David Moyes’ team found themselves trailing 2-0 just before halftime and could only manage an 87th-minute consolation goal by Lucas Paqueta.

Olympiacos’ 2-1 win over West Ham on matchday 3 marked the end of their 11-game winless streak in the competition. This victory made Group A more competitive, and they now sit just two points behind the Hammers and Freiburg, who are at the top of the table with six points. A win in this match would give Olympiacos back-to-back victories in the competition for the first time since September 2021.

Despite leading Group A with six points out of nine, their path to the knockout stages is not as straightforward as before. Freiburg also have six points, while Olympiacos have four. A victory for the Greek visitors in this week’s match could pose a challenge for West Ham.


West Ham may see the return of Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson, who are nearing full fitness and could be included in the squad for the Europa League match. Additionally, midfielders Lucas Paqueta and Edson Alvarez are back from domestic suspension after missing the weekend’s match against Brentford.

Olympiacos, on the other hand, will continue to miss Andreas Ndoj due to suspension following his red card against TSC. Nicolas Freire and Santiago Hezze are also unavailable for the away side.


Brighton and Hove Albion secured their first-ever win in European competition with a comfortable victory over Ajax in their previous match. Goals from Joao Pedro and Ansu Fati extended the Seagulls streak of scoring multiple goals in the group after scoring two goals in their defeat to AEK Athens and their comeback draw against Olympique Marseille.

However, Brighton’s performance in the Premier League have not been impressive, with the Seagulls failing to win any of their last five matches. They recently had to rely on an Ashley Young own goal to salvage a 1-1 draw against Everton, as missed opportunities prevented them from securing a much-needed win.

Ajax, on the other hand, have been on the upswing after two consecutive victories and they will seek their third consecutive victory as they gear up to host Brighton. They aim to avenge their defeat to the Seagulls last month when Brighton won 2-0 at the Amex Stadium, marking their first-ever win in European competition.


Ajax’s attacker Bergwijn has recovered from his previous injury and is expected to start on the left side of the frontline alongside Brobbey and Berghuis unless Akpom’s recent performance earns him a place in the lineup.

Several Ajax players are still dealing with injuries, including Rulli (shoulder), Mannsverk (leg), Gorter, and Van Axel Dongen (unspecified), who are expected to miss the match against Brighton.

For Brighton, Solly March, Julio Enciso, and Jakob Moder are nursing knee injuries. Moder is gradually regaining match fitness after featuring for the Under-21s.

Welbeck is facing an extended period on the sidelines due to an injury he suffered in late October, and there is little optimism about Pervis Estupinan’s chances of returning from a thigh injury before the November international break.


Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team are close to securing a spot in the Europa League knockout stages with just one point needed, and they’ve performed strongly in the group stage, winning their first three games.

With a five-point lead over Toulouse and Union SG, Liverpool could also secure a place in the last 16 with a win, depending on LASK’s performance against Union SG. It’s usually extremely difficult to attend Liverpool games but it’s been easier to get hold of Europa League tickets this season and this could be a good opportunity for match-going fans to go on an away day with the Reds.

Following a draw against Luton Town, Klopp is eager to get back to winning ways, especially since they’ll be facing Toulouse, a team that has struggled with five winless matches in all competitions and recently lost 5-1 to Liverpool.

Liverpool are among the three teams with a perfect record in the Europa League after three matches, sharing that status with Bayer Leverkusen and Roma. A victory against Toulouse would guarantee them a place in the knockout round playoffs.


The Reds are dealing with some injury issues, as Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are still unavailable. Andy Robertson underwent shoulder surgery and is expected to be sidelined for most of the remainder of the year.

Curtis Jones missed last weekend’s game due to a minor fitness issue, but he may be available for this match. Additionally, Alexis Mac Allister’s upcoming Premier League suspension won’t affect his availability in Europe.

On the Toulouse side, they have their share of injury concerns as well. Defender Oliver Zanden is out, and both winger Zakaria Aboukhlal (knee) and attacking midfielder Denis Genreau (back) are major doubts for the upcoming match.