Liverpool will be without the services of captain Jordan Henderson and summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri, when they face off against Crvena Zvezda.
Liverpool will embark on a trip to Belgrade, as they gear up to take on Serbian outfit Crvena Zvezda in their Group C encounter of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League at the Rajko Mitic Stadium on Tuesday night.
Having thrashed the Serbian SuperLiga leaders 4-0 a fortnight ago at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s side will be hoping to repeat their heroics away from home in order to strengthen their stranglehold at the top of their group, ahead of key encounters against Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ahead of the game, Klopp confirmed that full-back Nathaniel Clyne had been left out of the squad due to illness, but welcomed back Dejan Lovren into the fold, after the Croat had missed the 1-1 draw against Arsenal this past weekend due to an injury, along with Naby Keita.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the German tactician said, “We will take pretty much everyone. Clyney is ill and will not be involved, but Dejan and Naby are back in the travelling squad.”
Despite Lovren’s return to fitness, there is unlikely to be any change in the defensive personnel for the Reds, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson all expected to continue in front of goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
While Liverpool are boosted by the return of Keita from an injury, they continue to be without the services of club captain Jordan Henderson, with the manager claiming the Englishman was close to a return.
“Hendo was close, but not close enough. He needs two proper sessions for his fitness, which he will get at Melwood,” Klopp said.
With Henderson unavailable, Fabinho is set to make his fourth consecutive start for the Merseyside outfit at the base of the midfield. He will be partnered by Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum, who has been an ever-present in the starting lineups this season, while the third midfield slot is likely to be taken up by veteran James Milner, who scored this past weekend against Arsenal.
Xherdan Shaqiri has been left behind by Klopp, in order to avoid any unsavoury situations in Belgrade, owing to the attacker’s Albanian descent.
Speaking of the Switzerland international’s situation, the manager said, “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 per cent on football and not have to think about anything else, that’s all.
“We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions that would take focus away from a 90-minute-plus contest that is important for football and only football. So for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday.”
With Shaqiri not being part of the travelling party, no changes are likely in the attacking trident for the Reds, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, both of whom scored in the last game against Crvena Zvezda, expected to slot in on the flanks, while Roberto Firmino spearheads the attack.