Liverpool vs Red Star
| Wednesday, October 24th |
Champions League | Anfield
8:00 PM BST / 3:00 PM EST
The Champions League is back at Anfield, and following their 1-0 defeat in Naples, Liverpool find themselves third in Group C. Thankfully, they face a double header with last-placed Red Star Belgrade while the teams in front of them play each other, giving the Reds every opportunity to retake the top of the table and position themselves strongly for qualification to the knockout stages.
Red Star may only have earned a single point in two games in the Champions League this season, but in the domestic Superliga, their fortunes have been quite different. Sitting top of the table with 34 points from 12 matches and 26 goals to the good, the Star are running away with the Serbian league title.
Goals have been spread around the squad, with 11 players notching two or more, and top scorer Richmond Boakye — who has been in and out of the side — sitting on five. Household names are few and far between, but there is a chance former German international Marko Marin takes the pitch at Anfield, and fans of the Serie A may remember midfield playmaker Nenad Krsticic from his days at Sampdoria.
Vladan Milojević’s men were thoroughly thumped 6-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in their last outing in the competition, but did manage to hold Napoli to a scoreless draw to open their campaign, and while Liverpool should be expected to win, they shouldn’t look past their opponents on Wednesday night.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Jürgen Klopp appears to have decided that last season’s performances have earned Dejan Lovren a starting spot in his team, despite Joe Gomez’s superlative start to the year, nudging the Englishman out to fullback and Trent Alexander-Arnold to the bench in consecutive outings. Expecting to dictate the game on Wednesday, Alexander-Arnold should return to the XI, offering a more significant threat down the right side.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson has been confirmed as unavailable for selection tomorrow after suffering a hamstring injury at Huddersfield on Saturday, and with James Milner clearly diminished after his own injury scare before the international break, the stage could be set for Fabinho to start. Georginio Wijnaldum looked fresh in his cameo on Saturday, while Xherdan Shaqiri likely did enough to earn a second consecutive start. Naby Keita remains unavailable.
Up top, the good news is that Sadio Mane is in contention following his hand surgery, and a reunion with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah appears probable.
The Officials (GER)
Referee: Daniel Siebert
Assistants: Jan Seidel, Rafael Foltyn
Fourth official: Christian Gittelmann
Additional assistants: Tobias Welz, Patrick Ittrich
Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM GMT/3:00 PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.