Liverpool vs Rangers
| Tuesday, October 4th |
Champions League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
Following a frustrating 3-3 draw against Brighton on Saturday — one that, perhaps most annoyingly, didn’t show any signs of adjustments having been made during the international and dead Lizzie break — Liverpool will have a chance to bounce back immediately, hosting Glasgow Rangers at Anfield, somehow for the first time in official competition.
The Gers have had a predictable start to the season, sitting second in the table behind Ange Postecoglou’s phenomenal Celtic side, and look likely to stay there for the remainder of the campaign.
Their Champions League hopes have been brutally dashed in the opening two rounds as well, suffering 4-0 and 3-0 losses against Ajax and Napoli, respectively, and failure to win tomorrow would realistically end any chance of finishing better than fourth place in the group stage.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst will be missing first-choice goalkeeper Jon McLaughling through injury and will have to rely on 40-year old Allan McGregor, but otherwise sports a largely healthy squad, including former sort-of Red Ben Davies and, importantly, top scorer and aerial menace Antonio Colak.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Henderson, Elliott; Díaz, Núñez, Salah
For the Reds, a win at this stage in the group would do a lot to improve the team’s situation in terms of advancing to the knockout stages. A trip to Rangers is next, and sitting on nine points with two games to go is about as good a situation as one could hope for after the humbling on match day one.
Of course, they’ll need to win tomorrow, and, as always, there are injury concerns.
Ibrahima Konaté is back in full training and is likely to get his first start since the Champions League final in May, although whether he partners Virgil van Dijk or Joël Matip remains to be seen. Andy Robertson remains unavailable, ensuring another start for Kostas Tsimikas, while Trent Alexander-Arnold will be given another chance to play his way into form.
In midfield, Naby Keïta, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are still out, so some combination of Fabinho, Thiago, Jordan Henderson and Harvey Elliott seems likely, with James Milner a dark horse and Arthur also at the club.
Up top, the residual hamstring soreness that kept Darwin Núñez from starting at the weekend should have dissipated, allowing the Uruguayan his first start since the Merseyside derby a month ago, while two of Mohamed Salah, Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota are likely to flank the big man.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “Rangers are doing extremely well in general. We expect they will really fight for a result. Rangers are a good football team and they are well coached. They had an exceptional season in Europe last season. That’s what we have to prepare for. We expect a proper fight, a real fight.”
Giovanni van Bronckhorst: “Rangers are doing extremely well in general. We expect they will really fight for a result. Rangers are a good football team and they are well coached. They had an exceptional season in Europe last season. That’s what we have to prepare for. We expect a proper fight, a real fight.“
The Officials (FRA)
Referee: Clément Turpin
Assistant referees: Nicolas Danos, Cyril Gringore
Fourth official: Ruddy Buquet
VAR: Jérôme Brisard, Willy Delajod
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.