Bordeaux head coach Willy Sagnol has denied that his side are playing Liverpool at a good time, despite their poor Premier League form.
Brendan Rodgers’ side followed a 3-0 home defeat to West Ham with a 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Saturday, leaving them with just seven points from their opening five games.
Liverpool have also opted to leave a number of first-team players out of the squad for Thursday’s Europa League clash, with Christian Benteke, Martin Skrtel, James Milner, Lucas Leiva, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne absent.
But with a number of absentees of their own to contend with, Sagnol insists there is no good time for Bordeaux to face a team of Liverpool’s calibre.
“Is it a good time to face Liverpool? When you’re Bordeaux, I don’t know if there is one,” he said.
“Liverpool’s squad is top-drawer. A few absentees do not change that. We also have some missing players.
“Our Benteke is also absent, since Cheick Diabate is injured.
“We need a little bit of refreshing but we have the base to hold together until December.”
Sagnol is also insistent that he will be taking the tournament seriously despite admitting that the Europa League has become “taboo” in France.
“It’s easy to prepare for big matches. I’m extremely excited to face one of Europe’s great teams,” added the former France international.
“The Europa League is a taboo subject in France. We fought for a year for it. The aim is to qualify from the group.
“I feel like people are more aware of our efforts and more of them are coming to the stadium.”
Bordeaux will welcome back Clement Chantome after the midfielder was forced to miss the 2-2 draw with former club Paris Saint-Germain through suspension.
The 28-year-old is eager to return to action and is relishing a showdown with Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho, an old team-mate at Parc des Princes.
“It’s the start of an adventure against a truly big team,” he said. “We have to put in the same type of performance as we did against PSG.
“I’m not worried about a lack of rhythm because I worked during my ban. Suspensions are annoying, I have work in order to avoid more cards.
“I’m very happy to see Mamadou Sakho again. We did some great things at PSG.”