Charlie Nicholas predicts Liverpool will lose to Augsburg

SGL Arena interior - FC Augsburg

Liverpool take on Augsburg in the Europa League this week.

SkySports pundit Charlie Nicholas has predicted Liverpool will taste defeat in the Europa first leg against German side Augsburg.

Nicholas is calling a 2-1 win for Augsburg - but the good news for Reds fans is the ex-Arsenal man freely admits he knows very little about the team he feels will beat Jurgen Klopp's side.

He explained that he feels Liverpool will suffer a poor result due to necessary squad rotation. He said: "It's all looking a lot more positive with Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge back.

"Can they afford to risk them on Thursday night? I'd be surprised if Jurgen Klopp did, which means more changes. That makes this a dangerous game for me. Christian Benteke comes in but his confidence is going to be low after seeing himself slip further down the pecking order.

"As for Augsburg, I'm a strong follower of the European leagues but even to me they're a bit of an unknown. They're having a pretty tough time of it in the Bundesliga but I'm going for them to edge the first leg as Liverpool have a horrible habit of taking one step forward then another backwards."

Regardless of changes, Liverpool are suddenly full of confidence, after a 6-0 victory over Aston Villa, and with a cup final on the horizon, fringe players will know big performances can put themselves in the reckoning for a starting spot.

After securing a fifth place finish in the Bundesliga last season, Augsburg are down in 14th place with just five league wins all season, and lost 3-1 at home to Bayern Munich at the weekend, so Liverpool grabbing an early lead in the away leg could put their brittle confidence on edge.

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