Preview: Maribor v Liverpool

‘Huge respect for Liverpool’ – Casillas on UCL opponent

Liverpool will look to return to winning ways when they travel to Slovenia for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League clash against Maribor.

UEFA Champions League
17 October 2017
Kick-off 20:45 CET
Venue: Ljudski vrt

Referee: V. Kassai
Assistants: G. Ring, V. Toth
Fourth official: AB. Buzas

Head-to-head summary

Maribor 0 0 0 0
Liverpool 0 0 0 0

Players to watch

Few players deserve the one-to-watch label quite like Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian No.10 has a propensity for the sublime that has made him an Anfield favourite and attracted serious attention from Barcelona. With transfer talks on hold for now, he is back in a red kit and doing whatever he can to prove his ability.

On the Maribor side, another Brazilian is the player to watch. Marcos Tavares was born in Porto Alegre and joined Maribor back in 2008. The 33-year-old is now their all-time most capped player and top goalscorer with 125 goals from 317 appearances.

Team form and quotes

The Reds have produced stalemates in their last three encounters, against Spartak Moscow, Newcastle, and Manchester United, ahead of their trip to Slovenia. That has seen Jurgen Klopp’s side slide down to eighth in the Premier League standings having won just once in their last five league matches.

“As I’ve said, I know how it sounds when I say this all the time because we don’t have the results, but it’s about keeping on going, doing the right things again and still improving,” Klopp told the club’s official website on take-off.

“There is space for us to improve, of course, but the shape in general is good. That’s what we have to keep and I’m fine. We will see about rotation. I don’t think it is necessary, but maybe one, two, three or four changes [will be made]. We will see.

“It’s a very, very important game so, again, it’s always a decision about rhythm and being used to each other or bringing in fresh legs. We have a lot of games but I don’t think the intensity of the last game should be a reason for the line-up for this game.”

Maribor, meanwhile, are fighting at the top of their domestic league, where they’re currently in second place, two points behind Olimpija.

They have yet to taste defeat in the Slovenian PrvaLiga, with eight wins and four draws, but also have yet to win in the Champions League, drawing their first match 1-1 with Spartak before losing 3-0 against Sevilla.

Team news

In team news, the Reds will be unable to call on Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, who is currently out with a hamstring injury. He joins Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, and Adam Bogdan on the sidelines.