Liverpool host Sevilla in Group E of the UEFA Champions League in a repeat of the 2015-16 Europa League final.
Champions League action is set to return to Anfield as Liverpool prepare to host Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League. The two sides are in Group E alongside Maribor and Spartak Moscow – two relatively weaker teams but teams one must respect.
Liverpool couldn’t have gone in with a worse result over the weekend. A 5-0 thumping at the hands of Manchester City see the Reds lose the early momentum they had gained from dismantling Arsenal by a near-similar scoreline.
Sevilla on the other hand, have started the season out strong, with 7 points to their name from 3 matches. New manager Eduardo Berizzo seems to have settled in quickly and the club is, hence, off to a good start.
The match, though, will be a tricky affair for the La Liga side as both sides would hope to get their Champions League campaign off to a flying start. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the fixture.
Team News & Tactics
One player that is sure to start the game is Sadio Mane. The player received an early shower against Manchester City and will be suspended for the weekend game, which is likely to see Jurgen Klopp name the attacker in the starting lineup against Sevilla.
Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne continue their rehabilitation and are unlikely to take part in any form. Apart from the duo, and Adam Bogdan, Liverpool do not have any pressing roster concerns going into the tie. The likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have both started the campaign on a positive note and are near-certain starters.
It will be interesting to see, however, whether Jurgen Klopp includes Philippe Coutinho in some capacity – the Brazilian was left out of the matchday squad for the Manchester City game. Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold should command either side of the defence. However, Jurgen Klopp could rest Alexander-Arnold in favour of Joe Gomez.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Karius; Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Eduardo Berizzo has just two nagging concerns with player fitness – Nolito is out with a hamstring problem while David Soria is sidelined with a finger injury. Sebastian Corchia could take up the place on the right side of the defence, having been benched for the weekend game against Eibar.
Nolito’s injury is likely to thrust Joaquin Correa into the starting eleven while Jesus Navas could be rested in favour of Walter Montoya. Wissam Ben Yedder is likely to lead the line again for the La Liga outfit, as the Frenchman has done so admirably thus far this season.
It will be interesting to see how Berizzo is able to counter Klopp’s gegenpressing tactic. Sevilla, too, like to maintain possession, which sets up the match brilliantly.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Rico; Corchia, Carrico, Lenglet, Escudero; N’Zonzi; Montoya, Ganso, Sarabia, Correa; Ben Yedder
1. The fixture is a rematch of the 2015-16 Europa League final, where Sevilla triumphed over Liverpool by a 3-1 scoreline.
2. Sevilla have only 3 players from the starting eleven that beat Liverpool in the Europa League final – Steven N’Zonzi, Daniel Carrico and Sergio Escudero. Liverpool on the other hand, have bid adieu to just one player from that lineup.
3. Liverpool have a very poor home record against Spanish sides in the Champions League, having won just 1 of the 8 matches thus far. Sevilla, on the other hand, have lost on all three of their visits to England.
4. This is Eduardo Berizzo’s maiden Champions League campaign as manager, the boss having taken Celta Vigo to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season.
5. The front-three of Liverpool – Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah – have a combined record of 9 goals and 6 assists in 6 games so far this season.
Player to Watch
While the former Arsenal man did get a run-in late on against Manchester City, he was afforded too little time to have an impression. On Wednesday though, Klopp could field him in his desired central midfield role and the Liverpool fans would be eager to see what their investment has reaped.
The Englishman wants to further his career through the centre and a good start in the same position could go a long way into assuring Klopp that his future indeed lies in central midfield.
Liverpool 2-1 Sevilla
Yes, Sevilla look the better side on form. But, given the fact that it is Eduardo Berizzo’s maiden Champions League campaign combined with Liverpool’s will to bounce back after the 5-0 battering, we could see an inspired performance from the Reds on Wednesday.
Liverpool are favoured for the match by almost all betting sites, tipping Sevilla to make it 4 losses out of 4 on English soil.