Kazan Arena, Kazan
Thursday, 5th November 1800 GMT
Liverpool FC take on Rubin Kazan in a crucial UEFA Europa League tie, knowing that they cannot afford to lose the game if they are to avoid a pressure situation building for them going into the final two games of the group stage, following the draw against the Russian side at Anfield a fortnight ago.
FC Sion, who top the group, are four points clear of the second-placed Reds, and Liverpool FC have to win the game if they are to have a realistic chance of ending the group stage as the winner of Group B, that also contains French side Bordeaux.
Rubin Kazan Team News & Tactics
Rubin are currently struggling in the Russian League and sit in 12th place from the 16 teams in the league. The Russian side held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in Jurgen Klopp’s second game in charge, despite the Reds bombarding their goal and playing with a man advantage for most of the game.
The Russians will be without Igor Portnyagin, who will miss out due to injury. Oleg Kuzmin, who was the player sent off in the reverse fixture will also miss the tie due to suspension.
The absence of striker Portnyagin means Marko Devic, who has scored three goals in as many matches and also against the Merseyside outfit in the reverse fixture, will continue up front.
He will be assisted by Eduardo, Karadeniz and Kanunnikov in the the three places behind the forward in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Ozdoev and Georgiev will be tasked with the responsibility of shielding the back four from another Liverpool onslaught.
Ustinov is expected to replace the suspended Kuzmin at right-back, with Nabiullin continuing on the left side of the defence.
Kverkveilia and Kambolov will partner in the central defence hoping to protect goalkeeper Rhyzikov against the kind of bombardment he faced at Anfield.
Predicted Rubin XI: Rhyzikov; Ustinov, Nabiullin, Kambolov, Kverkveilia; Georgiev, Ozdoev; Eduardo, Karadeniz, Kanunnikov; Devic
Liverpool FC Team News & Tactics
Liverpool FC have taken a strong squad to Russia, hoping to build on from the good result at the weekend against Chelsea FC.
The Reds will be without captain Jordan Henderson, Kolo Toure, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Jordan Rossiter and Daniel Sturridge who are all out due to injury. Liverpool FC are expected to give chances to fringe players like Joe Allen, Divock Origi, Jordon Ibe, Dejan Lovren and Adam Bogdan in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Divock Origi heading the attack and being assisted by Ibe, Coutinho and Milner.
Lucas and Joe Allen will be looking to control the midfield and also provide cover to the defence consisting of Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne.
Adam Bogdan in goal will be expecting to continue his solid showing in order to keep up the pressure on 1st choice keeper Simon Mignolet.
Predicted Liverpool FC XI: Bogdan; Clyne, Moreno, Skrtel, Lovren; Lucas, Allen; Coutinho, Ibe, Milner; Origi
Man to Watch: Philippe Coutinho
Coutinho was the star of the show at the weekend, with his two goals playing the most important role in helping the Reds overcome Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge.
Coutinho has been hit and miss so far under Klopp, but will be looking to build on from his performance at the weekend, and aiming to play the central role in helping Liverpool FC win a crucial tie once again.
- Liverpool have drawn their last 3 matches in the UEFA Europa League
- Rubin Kazan are undefeated in 20 of their last 22 matches in the UEFA Europa League.
- Liverpool have been drawing at both half time and full time in their last 3 matches in the UEFA Europa League.
Prediction: Rubin Kazan 1-2 Liverpool FC
Expect the Reds to field a strong XI and also bring on Benteke if required to win the game and ease pressure on them towards the end of the group stages in the UEFA Europa League.