Liverpool are back in the Champions League! A sight that would bring a smile to any open minded football fan. They have been dealt an interesting group. It features Liverpool, Sevilla, Nk Maribor and Spartak Moscow. On paper, it might seem straight forward for Liverpool and Sevilla to qualify, but Moscow and Maribor are not to be taken lightly.
Maribor are from Slovenia and currently sit atop their league after 8 matches, remaining unbeaten. They are familiar with European football, having played in either the Europa League or Champions league in every season since 2008. Moscow too are a tricky team. After all, trips to Russia are grueling due to the conditions and the travel distance. They currently sit 9th in their league. They have players like Luiz Adriano and Quincy Promes who can cause problems to opponents going forward.
But of course the talk of the group had to be the replay of the 2016 Europa League final, Liverpool vs Sevilla. They beat Liverpool 3-1 in convincing fashion in Jurgen Klopp’s second final as Liverpool boss. Liverpool have progressed since then and this match-up would be a good way of judging that progress. Sevilla currently sit 2nd in the La Liga but Sociedad behind them still have a game to play. Sevilla have undoubted quality with the likes of N’Zonzi, Ben Yedder, Luis Muriel, Nolito and Ever Banega always tough to handle for any defense. Add to that Liverpool’s defensive frailties and this could be a really entertaining match with goals in abundance.
For Liverpool, they will be wanting revenge over Sevilla for that Europa League final in 2016. This window though, has only been about one ever lasting saga for them, Coutinho to Barcelona. It is a good show of strength that they did not accept a bid in excess of 130 million pounds for him. A problem for Klopp though, will be to find a way to accommodate him in this free flowing attack of his. Coutinho’s attitude will also be in question. The game against Man City was a one off in many ways and it will be iteresting to see how Liverpool bounce back in their first match against Sevilla.
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Liverpool image via Youtube
Sevilla Image via Philstar
Coutinho image via Goal