Liverpool vs Genk
| Tuesday, November 5th |
Champions League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
We’ve reached the halfway point of the Champions League group stages, and as the knockout rounds beckon, Group E has begun to take shape, with Napoli and Liverpool topping the group as expected, and RB Salzburg’s hopes of advancing slowly slipping away. A win tomorrow would put the Reds on nine points with two games to go and, should Napoli overcome Salzburg at home, all but wrap up advancement to the round of 16.
Jürgen Klopp’s men need to make sure they hold up their end of the bargain, however, as they host RKC Genk at Anfield. The Belgians sit bottom of the group, having conceded ten goals in three games, and were dismantled 4-1 at home the last time the two sides met, but would undoubtedly relish the chance to play spoilers this time around.
Since their last meeting, Felice Mazzù’s men have won once, drawn once, and and lost once, the latter in a disappointing 2-0 defeat at the weekend, and sit eight in the Jupiler League table at the halfway point in the regular season. The reigning champions will have to prioritise recapturing a top six and playoff spot as their European campaign comes to an end, but the prestige of the Champions League and the health of the squad means that the under-pressure Mazzù will field his first string, including both Mbwana Samatta and 6’6 Paul Onuachu, both of whom periodically caused trouble for the Reds at the Luminus Arena.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Firmino, Salah
Fresh off yet another dramatic one-goal victory, and as a fixture with massive Premier League title implications looms at the weekend, Liverpool would jump at the opportunity to comfortably wrap this one up in regulation time. There are five days of recovery to be had between tomorrow’s fixture and Sunday’s visit from Manchester City, however, so Jürgen Klopp should have little issue putting on a strong starting XI.
Joël Matip remains unavailable with an ankle injury, which in all likelihood means Dejan Lovren remains in the line-up, while the remainder of the defensive line remains unchanged. Fabinho sat out Saturday’s game to avoid getting suspended for the City match and should be ready to start, while Jordan Henderson putting in a full shift could mean James Milner is reinstated. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored three goals in his last two starts, including a brace in the away trip to Tuesday’s opposition, and will like his chances of getting another run-out.
Mohamed Salah only played an hour on Saturday and should be ready to start, despite murmurs about a persistent tweaked ankle. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané are, as always, likely to round out the front three, though a start for Divock Origi against his childhood club is not out of the question.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “This period was absolutely OK because we made changes against Arsenal, we had to, then we played Aston Villa, now we have to look a little bit at what we do tomorrow night. But then we have enough time to prepare for City.”
Felice Mazzù: “.”
The Officials (SVK)
Referee: Ivan Kružliak
Assistant referees: Tomaš Somolani, Branislav Hancko
Fourth official: Filip Glova
VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA), Marco Guida (ITA)
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM 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.