Liverpool – Maribor (Champions League)
After battering Maribor 7-0 in their last match, Liverpool are now aiming to repeat the dose on Wednesday night as they host the Slovenian side at Anfield Road, for the 4th round of Group E of the Champions League. The Red’s first win in this group stage came at the expense of the Slovenians, with Jurgen Klopp’s side grabbing a 70 victory in their last match. Maribor, on the other hand, arrive here with little chance of moving forward in the competition, having only 1 point so far.
Liverpool are in 1st place with 5 points, with 1 win and 2 draws, and with 10 goals scored and 3 conceded. After pulling up two draws in the first two rounds of the competition, at home against Sevilla and away against Spartak Moscow, Liverpool finally got their victory in their last round, humiliating Maribor by 7-0 in their own ground. No only this is an excellent opportunity for Liverpool to strengthen their grip on top spot and improve their goal difference further here, but also a very good chance for the players to improve their confidence and battle their irregular moment.
The Reds also have the home factor and are still undefeated at Anfield Road this season, wining 4 of 7 games, in all competitions, with 15 goals scored and 5 conceded. As it is usual in Jurgen Klopp’s teams, Liverpool are a very strong team offensively, but concede too many goals, which makes it difficult for the team to achieve more regular results. Coutinho, Firmino and Salah are the players who compose the Red’s offensive trident, and any one of them are capable of making the difference in any game, at any time.
In their last 5 official matches, Liverpool has a record of 2 victories, 2 draws and 1 defeat. This sequence of results began with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle. This result was followed by a 0-0 draw at home against Manchester United, a 0-7 win over Maribor, for the Champions League, a 4-1 victory defeat against Tottenham, and in their last clash, a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town. Lallana, Bogdan, Sadio Mané and Lovren are all out due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Karius – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan and Moreno – Can, Milner and Wijnaldum – Salah, Firmino and Chamberlain.
Maribor, on their turn, are in 4th place in Group E with only 1 point, result of 1 draw and 2 defeats, with 1 goal scored and 11 goals conceded. Maribor had a rather positive start in this group stage, drawing at home against Spartak Moscow in their first match, but quickly tasted defeat in the following two games, against Sevilla and Liverpool, conceding 10 goals without being able score any in response in both games.
The Slovenians had to play a number of pre-qualifiers against teams such as Zrinjski Mostar, Hofnarfjordur and Hapoel Be’er Sheva. This is only the 3rd time in their history that Maribor reaches the Champions League group stage, arriving here only in 1999/2000 and 2014/15, and were never able to go any further in this competition, wining only 1 out of 15 matches, losing 9, and were only able to score 9 goals, conceding 36. Like for any other team, this wont be an easy match for Maribor, since wining at Anfield Road has never been easy.
In their last 5 official matches, Maribor has a record of 3 victories, 1 draw and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with a 0-0 draw against Triglav. This result was followed by a 1-2 win against Rudar, a 0-7 defeat against Liverpool, for the Champions League, a 1-0 win over Ankaran Hrvatini, and in their last round, a 0-1 defeat against Domzale. Sme and Zahovic are both out due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Handanovic – Milec, Rajcevic, Suler and Viler – Kabha and Vrhovec – Tavares, Vrsic and Bohar – Mesanovic.
Liverpool has won the only direct clash played until now.
Champions League 2017/2018
Liverpool trashed Maribor in Slovenia and are he with the intent of strengthening the group leadership and goal difference. Expect another offensive avalanche from the Reds.