LIVERPOOL host Spartak Moscow of their closing Champions League group stage recreation on Wednesday, with the Reds needing a victory to be assured of prime spot in Group E.
Jurgen Klopp’s males are prime of the group on 9 factors as issues stand, one forward of second-placed Sevilla and three above Spartak.
The Merseysiders can be eager to wrap up prime spot with a purpose to safe a beneficial draw within the last-16, however they need to not underestimate their Russian opponents.
Our pals at Soccer Whispers clarify why…
The primary assembly between the 2 sides on this season’s Champions League was on the Otkrytiye Enviornment in late September.
Regardless of dominating proceedings, having fun with a 65 per cent share of possession and taking 16 photographs to the house aspect’s 4, Liverpool needed to accept a 1-1 draw.
That night time, Philippe Coutinho equalised within the first-half after Fernando’s opener.
On the proof of that recreation, many Liverpool followers is perhaps anticipating a comparatively comfy night at Anfield on Wednesday, however Spartak’s latest kind means they are going to be no pushovers.
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Within the 12 video games they’ve performed in all competitions because the Liverpool attract September, Spartak have misplaced simply as soon as – away to Sevilla within the Champions League.
Spartak are Russia’s most profitable membership with 12 Soviet championships and ten Russian top-flight titles to their title.
They’re presently fourth within the Russian Premier League, eight factors adrift of leaders Lokomotiv Moscow however solely two behind a star-studded second-placed Zenit Saint Petersburg, managed by former Manchester Metropolis boss Roberto Mancini.
Regardless of their fourth place – mirroring Liverpool’s present standing within the Premier League – Spartak are prime of the shape desk in Russia, unbeaten by means of their final ten league video games with six wins and 4 attracts.
They may also have their star man again within the aspect for the journey to Anfield.
When Spartak hosted the Reds earlier within the season, they had been with out Dutch winger Quincy Promes, who was injured on the time.
Promes is believed to be a long-time Liverpool switch goal and is broadly thought to be the perfect participant in Russia.
He has backed up this standing with some superlative kind this time period too, netting 13 targets and registering eights assists in 23 all-competitions appearances.
The versatile 25-year-old, who can play on both flank or by means of the center, can be a risk to Klopp’s suspect back-line together with his tempo, dribbling capacity and highly effective shot.
The Reds have scored a formidable 17 targets of their 5 Champions League matches to date this season, seven of which racked up in a single recreation in opposition to Maribor.
However the reality they’ve conceded six instances can be somewhat regarding to Klopp, who watched his aspect capitulate in opposition to Sevilla final outing.
That night, they relinquished a three-goal half-time lead to attract with the Spanish outfit.
If a optimistic result’s to be obtained in opposition to Spartak on Wednesday night time, Klopp must tackle the defensive points that prevented his aspect from reserving their place within the last-16 with a recreation to spare in Spain.
Nonetheless, because of their very own lethal firepower and continued enchancment beneath the German tactician, Liverpool ought to have greater than sufficient to safe a degree.
Not solely that, they need to bag all of the three to permit them qualify accomplish that as group winners.