The return of Champions League football to Anfield is sure to be one of the major talking points for tonight’s game, but it’s difficult to accept that it will most likely be eclipsed by the continuing saga surrounding Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian want away is described as being “fit and healthy” by Jurgen Klopp, but the Liverpool boss refused to comment further on whether the talisman would make his first appearance for the club this season.
What we do know is that Loris Karius will play in goal, designated as Klopp’s preferred goalkeeper for the Champions League games. The gaffer has also outlined his plan to utilise all three of his stoppers this season: Simon Mignolet assigned the Premier League and Danny Ward to be given the cup competitions to impress.
Mohamed Salah sat out of training yesterday with a sore throat but is expected to feature. Sadio Mane, meanwhile, is available despite his sending off in the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday since his three-game ban only applies to English league games.
For Sevilla, who are underdogs with 888sport, a 4-3 aggregate win over Istanbul Basaksehir earned them their place in this year’s competition, but they will make the trip to Anfield without two key figures in their side.
Spanish international Nolito suffered a thigh injury after scoring the final goal during his side’s 3-0 win over Eibar on the weekend, ruling him out of tonight’s clash. The other absentee comes in the form of Johannes Geis who was a deadline day loan signing from Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04.
One to watch for the visitors is Steven N’Zonzi who completed the most passes during the group stages of the competition last season, second to only PSG’s Marco Verratti.
Sevilla have lost only two of their last nine Champions League games, winning five and having drawn the remaining two.
Lest we forget the only other meeting between these two sides when Sevilla came out on top after a 3-1 win in the 2016 Europa League Final. The Spanish side were suffering from a few injuries leading up to that game also so it’s imperative that Liverpool acknowledge and account for the strength in depth Sevilla clearly possess.
Thoughts, Reds? Let us know below!