Ahead of Liverpool taking on Bordeaux in the UEFA Europa League this evening, read French football writer James Eastham's thoughts on what awaits Brendan Rodgers' side.

Bordeaux may not be the biggest club in French football but they have a rich European pedigree.

In 1985 they were European Cup semi-finalists and in 1996 – inspired by a youthful Zinedine Zidane – went on a remarkable journey from the Intertoto Cup to the Uefa Cup final.

As recently as 2010 they were Champions League quarter-finalists having won Ligue 1 in fine style under Laurent Blanc the year before.

But the current crop perhaps doesn’t compare to any of those vintages.

Their star man is Wahbi Khazri, a 24-year-old Tunisia international that operates in the No.10 role. Good at finding space and clever on the ball, he has scored three and set up one of their six Ligue 1 goals this season.

Diego Rolan, their 15-goal top scorer last season, is expected to earn a recall. Bordeaux also have high hopes for academy graduate Enzo Crivelli, who is expected to lead the line because of the likely absence through injury of more established target man Cheick Diabate.

The team’s outfield average age is 24 so it could be a couple of years before we see the players mature – and inexperience will be a big concern this week.

At right-back will be either 19-year-old Milan Gajic or 20-year-old Frederic Guilbert, who have 11 first-team appearances between them.

At centre-back summer signing Pablo and Nicolas Pallois may start alongside each other for only the second time.

To guide these youngsters through European nights, Bordeaux have a major asset on the bench. Manager Willy Sagnol made more than 250 appearances for Bayern Munich, winning five Bundesliga titles and a Champions League (2001).

Formerly France U21 boss, Sagnol swept into the job in summer 2014 promising attacking football. For a while that’s how Bordeaux played, but they became more pragmatic as last season wore on, grinding out results to finish sixth.

Sagnol has used several formations – 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1. Such flexibility means Liverpool may face a couple of different challenges during the course of the match.

They will also face a large and noisy crowd – by Tuesday only 2,000 tickets were still on sale. The 42,000-seater Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, built for Euro 2016, opened last May.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Bordeaux can live up to their shiny new surroundings.