Liverpool host La Liga’s Sevilla in their first group stage game of the UEFA Champions League campaign as they try to forget the humiliating 5-0 loss to Manchester City last weekend. The Reds didn’t really see that coming following a convincing win over Arsenal a couple of weeks ago and Jurgen Klopp should be ready for anything now.
Sevilla are the toughest opponent in the group for Liverpool who can really challenge them for the top spot and Klopp knows the importance of starting the campaign on a positive note. Unlike Liverpool, Sevilla have enjoyed a rather decent start to their domestic campaign, winning twice and drawing one in the opening three games.
Liverpool- After their toothless display at the Etihad Stadium last week, Jurgen Klopp is left with the hardest decision so far, whether to recall Philippe Coutinho to the starting eleven. The Brazilian has been estranged since he handed in the transfer request to leave for Barcelona a few weeks back. However, with it crystal clear that Liverpool aren’t that good without him up front, he has to return.
Among the injuries remain Nathaniel Clyne with a muscle injury, Adam Lallana with a thigh injury. Danny Ings also remains uncertain with a slight knock. Apart from that, Dejan Lovren should return to the central defence after Ragnar Klavan’s terrible display against Manchester City alongside Joel Matip.
Sevilla- New manager Eduardo Berizzo will have a tough task on his hands as he will most likely be without Nolito and Johannes Geis for the crucial away trip. Ever Banega will feature for Sevilla after sitting out the match in La Liga with a suspension, which will be a huge boost.
Liverpool- Simon Mignolet; Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane
Sevilla- Sergio Rico; Gabriel Mercado, Daniel Carrico, Clement Lenglet, Sergio Escudero; Steven N’Zonzi, Ever Banega, Pablo Sarabia; Ganso, Jesus Navas, Wissam Ben Yedder
Liverpool- Sadio Mane will play this game after being red carded for his brutal tackle last game and Jurgen Klopp would hope to get the very best out of him. Apart from him, attackers Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino remain will be the biggest threat for Sevilla. Coutinho might start, but given his lack of match fitness, he is unlikely to make any impact.
Sevilla- Sevilla have some really tricky attackers in Jesus Navas, Yedder and Ganso, who can make things out of nothing and Liverpool’s leaky defence should be wary of it. N’Zonzi could also be a big threat.
Liverpool 3-1 Sevilla
Liverpool @ 7/10
Draw @ 16/5
Sevilla @ 4/1