Match Preview: Liverpool welcome Spartak Moscow

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Liverpool approaches the final game of the group stages in the European Champions League. They welcome an in form Spartak Moscow to Anfield. A point sees Liverpool qualify to the knockout stages of the competition and a win, sends Liverpool through as the leaders of Group E. A feet doubted by many during the first part of the group stages. Klopp has issued an all or nothing encounter, knowing we’re in the driver’s seat and have all the reasons to qualify for the next round.

The Reds as the home side goes into the clash with heaps of positives. Unbeaten in the group stages displays the difficulties to beat the English outfit. To add to this unbeaten streak – Liverpool showdown in an Anfield ground where they’re undefeated for the entire season. Confidence oozing out the players with their domestic campaign running smoothly. Sitting in 4th place on the English Premier League table, scoring an impressive number of eight goals in two games and only conceding one – provides enough evidence the Reds are firing on all cylinders.

Liverpool’s last three European clashes.
P
Home
VS
Away
Result
1st Sevilla 3-3 Liverpool D
2nd Liverpool 3-0 NK Maribor W
3rd NK Maribor 0-7 Liverpool W

Klopp’s last European fixture is one the manager and team have to put behind them. Three goals up in the first half – to draw the game three all at the end of the 90 minutes, was a major call for concern. However, the team has since put things back on track and have enthralled us with a full squad able to do the business on the pitch.

The key players have also indicated they back to their best. Coutinho the maestro, pulling all the strings, Sadio as ruthless as ever, and Firmino the silent hit man, demonstrates to be a far better number 9 than both, Andy Carroll and Christian Benteke. Not to mention, Liverpool’s star player for the season thus far, Mo Salah. Im expecting a start of Liverpool’s best three later this evening. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mo Salah, was used wisely by the manager during these busy two to three weeks the Reds experienced.

The only unfortunate news heading into the crucial Anfield European fixture – Both Adam Lallana and Joel Matip are said to be out for tonight. Lallana’s comeback hasn’t been as seamless as expected. Matip and Klavan have been in and out the team with slight problems. Hopefully, the manager is only taking needed precautions ahead of a busy festive period. Other than these two missing players and the long-term exclusion of Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool boasts a full strength team.

Group E standings after five matches:
POS
TEAMS
GP
W
D
L
GD
P
1 Liverpool 5 2 3 0 10 9
2 Sevilla 5 2 2 1 0 8
3 Spartak Moscow 5 1 3 1 3 6
4 Maribor 5 0 2 3 -13 2


What does Quincy Promes mean to Spartak Moscow? 

Quincy promises to pose a real threat to Liverpool’s backline. Liverpool’s defence has failed twice in the last five fixtures with needless errors in front of goal. Knowing the Reds’ backline has that one or two costly errors, causes worry for all. Promes has made 22 appearances this season and during that time; scored 11 goals and has assisted 8 – involving him in 19 goals in 22 games across all competitions. This is an outstanding achievement for the 25-year-old Dutchman, who’s been out for a good spell on the sideline, during Spartak’s campaign.

Quincy Promes stats in the European Champions League:
 
Games Played
Minutes Played
Goals
Assist
Quincy Promes 4 355 2 2

The surprise and the upset of the group games, has to go to Spartak vs Maribor. Only two points taken from this fixture, from draws home and away – helped take this group go to the wire for a decision, who will qualify at the end of all the matches. Spartak will have to score about seven goals and concede nothing in return. With Quincy at the point of their attack, even seven is impossible. But a draw could see us go through as the runners up.

Spartak doing poorly against lesser opposition yet, in their home encounter, where they entertained the only other team Liverpool was unable to beat during the group stages, Sevilla. Promes had a heavy hand to play in their five-goal victory over the Spanish side. This is where he scored two and assisted two – getting himself involved in four goals of the game’s five on the night.

The Reds’ midfielder, Gini issued a warning about his fellow countryman, Quincy Promes and spoke of how deadly the forward is in front of goal. With this man back and the team showing better form – the encounter shapes up to be a mouth-watering contest. Domestically, the visitors have won four games from their last four – rivals Zenit Saint Petersburg being one of them. Their form has seen a major turnaround, with them finding the net almost certainly. However, the Russians European competition has seen some poor performances.

Spartak Moscow’s last three European clashes:
P Home

VS

Away Result
1st Spartak Moscow

1-1

Maribor D
2nd Sevilla

2-1

Spartak Moscow L
3rd Spartak Moscow

5-1

Sevilla W


Liverpool XI to face Spartak Moscow:

Goalkeeper: Loris Karius

Defenders: RB – Joe Gomez; CB – Ragnar Klavan; CB – Lovren; LB – Alberto Moreno

Midfielders: CM – Emre Can; CM – Georginio Wijnaldum; CM – Philippe Coutinho

Wingers: RW – Mohamed Salah; LW – Sadio Mane

Striker: ST – Roberto Firmino

Liverpool players missing:

Nathaniel Clyne – Back injury

Danny Ward – Back injury

Adam Lallana – Recovery

Joel Matip – Thigh injury

Spartak Moscow players missing:

Artem Timofeev – Cruciate Ligament Rupture

Georgi Tigiev – Ruptured cruciate ligament

Jano Ananidze – Ankle injury

Dmitri Kombarov – Fractured Rib

 

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