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Europa League | Group Stage
Dec 14, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
TGW Arena
T

LASK
1 - 2
Toulouse

Ljubicic (61')
Ljubicic (35'), Zulj (47'), Horvath (90+7')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Dallinga (54'), Suazo (83')
Mawissa (74'), Donnum (90+2')

Preview: LASK Linz vs. Toulouse - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: LASK Linz vs. Toulouse - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between LASK Linz and Toulouse, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to secure their qualification for the last 16 of the Europa League, Toulouse travel to Austria to take on LASK Linz at Raiffeisen Arena in their final Group E fixture on Thursday evening.

The two teams meet for the first time since Les Violets claimed a slender 1-0 home victory in the reverse fixture on matchday one in September.


Match preview

LASK Linz have missed the chance to qualify for the Europa League knockout rounds after losing four of their first five Group E games, including a heavy 4-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield on matchday five a fortnight ago.

The Black-Whites currently sit rock bottom of Group E and cannot catch second-placed Toulouse who sit five points further ahead, but they head into their final fixture still in contention to secure third place and subsequently drop down into the Europa Conference League playoff round.

Thomas Sageder's side must beat Toulouse on Thursday and hope that third-placed Union SG lose to group winners Liverpool in order to leapfrog the Belgian side. A draw for Union SG – who still have an outside chance of finishing second – would guaranteed third spot as they boast the better head-to-head record between themselves and LASK Linz.

Since losing to Liverpool, LASK Linz have picked up four points across two Austrian Bundesliga away games against Austrian Vienna and Austria Lustenau, drawing 0-0 with the former before winning 3-1 against the latter last weekend to remain two points behind league leaders Red Bull Salzburg.

LASK Linz return to home soil on Thursday where they have won each of their last four matches as well as nine of their last 14 European fixtures, but they have lost both of their previous two meetings with French opposition, including the aforementioned reverse fixture against Toulouse three months ago.

Competing in European competition for the first time in 14 years, Toulouse are on the cusp of securing their spot in the Europa League knockout rounds for the very first time, after picking up eight points from their first five Group E matches, including four across their last two against Liverpool and Union SG.

After claiming a historic 3-2 home victory over Liverpool in early November, Les Violets played out a goalless draw at home to Union SG on matchday five two weeks ago, but that point secured means that their fate is in their own hands heading into Thursday's clash with LASK Linz, with Carles Martinez's men simply needing to avoid defeat to qualify for the Europa League playoff round.

Since beating Liverpool, Toulouse have failed to win any of their last five matches in all competitions, including the draw with Union SG and last weekend's disappointing 3-0 defeat away against Ligue 1 basement club Lyon.

Les Violets, who have slipped to 15th in the French top-flight standings and sit just one point above the bottom three, have struggled on the road for some time, as they have failed to come out on top in any of their last 10 away matches in all competitions since beating Nantes 2-1 back in August.

Martinez's side got the better of LASK Linz in their last meeting, though, courtesy of a first-half strike from Gabriel Suazo, and another resilient performance is required if they wish to assure themselves of a top two-finish in Group E.

LASK Linz Europa League form:


LASK Linz form (all competitions):


Toulouse Europa League form:


Toulouse form (all competitions):



Team News

LASK Linz duo Adil Taoui and Tobias Anselm are both recovering from ACL injuries and remain sidelined, while Ibrahim Mustapha is also ruled out with an ankle problem.

Star attacker Robert Zulj avoided receiving a yellow card against Liverpool which would have seen him suspended for Thursday's clash, so the 31-year-old – who has 10 goals to his name this term – is expected to start in the final third against Toulouse alongside Marin Ljubicic and Moses Usor.

Florian Flecker and Filip Stojkovic will continue to battle for a start at right wing-back, while Ivan Ljubic and Sascha Horvath are the most likely duo to link arms in centre-midfield.

As for Toulouse, Zakaria Aboukhlal and Oliver Zanden are the club's only two absentees as they continue to recover from respective knee and hip injuries.

Martinez will ponder whether to keep Gabriel Suazo on the left flank or move him into his favoured left-back position alongside ever-present defensive trio Rasmus Nicolaisen, Logan Costa and Mikkel Desler in the back four.

Moussa Diarra could therefore swap his makeshift left-back role for a start in centre-midfield at the expense of either Cristian Casseres Jr or Vincent Sierro, while Thijs Dallinga – who has scored three of his eight goals this season in the Europa League – is expected to lead the line once again.


LASK Linz possible starting lineup:
Lawal; Zieris, Andrade, Taloverov; Stojkovic, Horvath, Ljubic, Bello; Zulj; Ljubicic, Usor

Toulouse possible starting lineup:
Restes; Desler, Costa, Nicolaisen, Suazo; Spierings, Casseres, Diarra; Donnum, Dallinga, Magri


We say: LASK Linz 1-2 Toulouse

A closely-fought contest is set to be played out between these two teams who still have something riding on this fixture. Toulouse only need a draw to secure a top-two finish in Group E, but we believe that they will capitalise on LASK Linz pushing men forward in their search for a winner by punishing the Austrian side at the other end on the counter-attack en route to claiming maximum points.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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