Ben Morgan looks ahead to tonight’s Champions League clash as Liverpool host Maribor at Anfield, including team news for both sides, and what we could expect to see in the game.
Two weeks on from the record breaking 7-0 victory away to Maribor, it is Liverpool’s turn to host, with fans hoping for a similar outcome from tonight’s affair. There was a morale boosting 3-0 win against Huddersfield at the weekend, and if the Reds were to get all 3 points in tonight’s European game, then they would be in good stead to qualify out of the Group Stages, and into the Knockouts. Let’s look at some of the team news for the encounter.
Team News – Liverpool:
Many fans thought this might represent an opportunity for Jurgen Klopp to use his squad and rotate some players, but the Liverpool Manager said in his conference yesterday he would do no such thing and play his strongest squad available: ‘I never take risks with a line up, if a player plays, we expect him to be at 100 per cent. I don’t think about rotation, I think about who I can line up. I don’t think we have to rest players – we will bit, I will have a look at who is fit and when I know that then I’ll make the line-up. It’s not about rotation, it’s about who gives me the best impression. Some key players will not be available for tonight’s game though. Phillipe Coutinho still has the abductor issue which kept him out of Saturday’s game, while Dejan Lovren has a groin issue. Despite reportedly having Minor issues, both Joe Gomez and Alberto Moreno look to be available. Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana are closing in on a return, after the international break, while there is no further update on when Nathaniel Clyne could be available. Loris Karius is set to continue his current role as the Champions League Goalkeeper for the club, while Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be hoping for some game time. Further up the field there could be starts for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge in Liverpool’s attack.
Team News – Maribor:
Maribor could name the same starting XI as fielded in the first match between the sides. Jurgen Klopp is expecting to see a stubborn Maribor side turn up to Anfield with a point to prove; “They are usually really well organised but it is a football playing side I don’t think you can change this much. I don’t expect a lot of easy spaces. We will have to work for this. If anyone is expecting something like 7-0 I cannot change that”.
What can we expect?
Expect to see a fruitful performance for the Reds. Many will be hoping to get amongst the goals, most notably Daniel Sturridge who has said he feels he is back to his best fitness and is ready to repay Jurgen Klopp’s faith in him. The striker scored at the weekend, and will be hoping to make it 2 from 2 tonight. The Reds should also be solid at the back, another clean sheet would do wonders for the team’s confidence, and a positive result tonight, could really benefit the team going into the weekends clash with West Ham United. Expect Maribor to be a bit more compact this week, often we have seen teams come and sit deep at Anfield; Maribor may be hoping to do the same and not suffer the same margin of defeat.
So last time out, the Reds were Record breakers, this week, can the Reds stay as the table toppers and tighten their hold on the Knockout spot? It is sure to be another brilliant European night, at Anfield.