Liverpool hope to brush Red Star Belgrade aside.
Liverpool’s defeat to Napoli in their second Champions League match has blown Group C wide open, leaving these two sides and PSG all within one point of each other. This double-header against Red Star Belgrade is a good chance for Jurgen Klopp’s men to pile pressure onto their group rivals, and six points from these two matches is a great chance to do so.
Red Star, the 1990/91 European Cup winners, return to the competition after a 26-year absence, but their hopes of making it further than the group stage were as good as dashed upon this tough draw being made.
While they recorded a brilliantly spirited 0-0 draw against Napoli at home in their opener, it was followed up by a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of PSG, and you fear this clash could end in a similar way for the visitors.
Though Liverpool have scored just three goals in their last five matches in all competitions, this home game against a team who have kept just two clean sheets in their last eight Serbian Super Liga matches is the perfect chance to get back on track.
Klopp rested plenty of players for their 1-0 win against Huddersfield, so he’ll have a fit-and-firing first XI heading out into the cold autumnal Anfield air on Wednesday – and they will be pumped up.
Liverpool to roar back with a convincing win is what I’m tipping here, with the added caveat of a massive -3 handicap; I’m not messing around.
This one is a bit of a long shot, but in my quest to find value in what should be a home banker, I’m going for Liverpool to be leading after 15 minutes.
That old cliché about ‘Anfield’s famous European atmosphere’ is annoyingly accurate, and they’ll look to net as soon as possible, in order to crush any Red Star hopes repeating their Napoli heroics.
Liverpool’s league matches against Southampton and Leicester have seen goals fly in before the 15 minute mark, with plenty more being scored within 25 minutes.
It’s a decent price, and injects a little betting excitement into this otherwise value-less affair.
I feel like Liverpool are due a penalty.
They haven’t scored one since their 3-2 win over PSG in mid-September, and with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane left out of Klopp’s starting side against Huddersfield, Red Star will have a fresh legs running at them all evening.
As usual, when I tip Liverpool to score a penalty, it’s on the (generally vindicated) assumption that James Milner will stick it away.