Liverpool will remain top of Champions League Group C should they win against Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday afternoon.
Following a 4-0 victory over Red Star at Anfield last month, Liverpool will look to replicate such a positive result when they take on the Serbian side at the Rajko Mitić Stadium on Tuesday.
Liverpool have won two of their three Group C games so far, whilst the home side have only managed a draw against Napoli and they currently sit bottom of the table.
Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri has not travelled with the Liverpool squad to Serbia, due to his Albanian heritage and the hostile reception he would likely receive. The Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, stated that “We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception Shaq would receive and although we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and be focused 100% on football and not have to think about anything else,”
“We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions. So, for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this.”
Source: BBC Sport
Reds midfielder Naby Keita returns to the squad, following a hamstring injury that saw him sidelined for five games, however, Jordan Henderson appears to still be nursing an injury as he wasn’t included.
Dejan Lovren returns after he wasn’t involved in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the weekend, but right-back Nathaniel Clyne remains on Merseyside as he recovers from illness.
For Red Star, Striker Richmond Boakye hasn’t played since their 4-0 defeat at Anfield and remains a doubt, but the Serbian champions are boosted by the return of attacker Marko Marin.
Red Star Belgrade coach Vladan Milojevic looks forward to the red’s arrival, stating that “One of the best teams in Europe and the world comes to us. I think it will be a real spectacle in the stadium and an atmosphere awaits us that only our fans can create.”
He was full of respect for Klopp’s side, going on to say “Liverpool are a favourite, no matter what. They are one of the main contenders to win the Champions League; the team is made to attack for the title.”
“We need to be concentrated all the time because every pause and the smallest little thing is immediately punished.”
Source: Sky Sports
In his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp spoke about the opponents “It’s the combination of atmosphere and the football they play. We were really good at Anfield, if we had been less strong they would have been in the game. We are from Liverpool so we know how important atmosphere can be.”
The last time Liverpool travelled to Serbia to play Red Star Belgrade in European competition was in October 1973, where they suffered a 2-1 defeat.
Liverpool have faced Red Star in Europe only three times, with their only win in this fixture being their 4-0 victory at Anfield last month.
Categories: Champions League