For as much hype and prestige as the Champions League offers, sometimes its mid-week matches can turn into lifeless, tactical, defensive affairs—cagey outings with at least one of the sides set out first and foremost to frustrate the opposition. Jürgen Klopp, though, doesn’t expect that from Spartak Moscow.
“They are a football playing side,” he noted ahead of Tuesday’s match. “And an experienced side. Last year a new manager took over and immediately they won the league. They’ve had injuries and struggled as a result this season but they still have a lot of quality so it will be an interesting match.”
If Spartak are willing to play football—and their reputation as a high-scoring side with more than a few defensive question marks, much like Liverpool, may mean they have little choice—then certainly fans should expect some exciting football and more than a few goals to show for is when the game kicks off.
On paper, though, with Spartak likely without star Quincy Promes and Liverpool having all four of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Philippe Coutinho available for the first time this season, an open game favours Liverpool and should see the visitors taking control of Group E with a solid victory.
“We started with a home game and we didn’t win,” noted Klopp, who despite his strong attack and Spartak’s open play isn’t taking anything for granted. “That’s not a positive. But in the end it was still a point. Obviously if we don’t win any away games then it will be quite difficult, but we take it game by game.
“The atmosphere is different for sure but the pitch is grass and pretty much the same size as Anfield so that is not a problem. It is a big opportunity. It's an away game against a strong side who were champions last year. It is exciting."