PreviewEuropa League opposition lowdown: Union SG

By Glenn Price


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Liverpool will meet a new opponent in Union SG during the group stage of this season's Europa League.

The first official meeting between the clubs will take place at Anfield on October 5, before they conclude their Group E campaigns with a fixture at Anderlecht Stadium on December 14.

Here, we take a closer look at Royale Union Saint-Gilloise from Belgium...

The visit to Anfield next month will be Union's latest highlight during a remarkable ascent back to the top.

Indeed, just three seasons ago the Brussels-based side were plying their trade in the Belgian second tier.

The club, rich with history after winning 11 First Division titles, returned to the top flight after a 48-year absence in 2021-22. Their rise didn't stop there.

They're now gearing themselves for a second consecutive Europa League campaign, having reached the quarter-finals in 2022-23.

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Union's fortunes turned in 2018 when they were purchased by Tony Bloom, chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion, and Alex Muzio.

They would invest in the club's infrastructure and place great emphasis on the need to be meticulous when it came to recruiting players and staff.

That approach would pay off with promotion to the Belgian Pro League, where they have consistently been competing at the top since their return, and European exploits.

After being eliminated by Rangers in a Champions League third-round qualifier last August, Union dropped into the Europa League. They would end up topping a group consisting of Union Berlin, SC Braga and Malmo.

That adventure came to an end at the hands of Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen in the last eight of the competition.

They have a new head coach this season in Alexander Blessin, who has experience with Genoa and KV Oostende.

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Within his squad is a certain Kevin Mac Allister – brother of Liverpool's Alexis – fresh from his transfer from Argentinos Juniors in the summer. English talents Ross Sykes, Christian Burgess and Matthew Sorinola are also in Blessin's ranks.

Their start to the campaign has seen them defeat Lugano over two legs to qualify for the Europa League group stage and win three of their first five games of the Belgian Pro League.

Dennis Eckert Ayensa is the team's current top scorer with seven goals from as many appearances in all competitions.

Their fixture with Jürgen Klopp's Reds in December is scheduled to be hosted at RSC Anderlecht's ground, instead of Union's normal home of Stade Joseph Marien.



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