Liverpool return to Europa League action on Thursday night when they host Rubin Kazan in Jurgen Klopp’s first Anfield fixture and here, we preview the important European clash.
Liverpool v Rubin Kazan
22nd October 2015, 20:00pm (BST)
Referee: Robert Schorgenhofer
Klopp makes his first Anfield appearance as Liverpool manager when the Russian side arrive at for what promises to be a memorable occasion.
While it will be special game for the German, it’s one of real significance one too, with the Reds needing a win to turn around their lacklustre opening to the European campaign.
Two draws from two games represents a disappointing start, and Klopp will be looking to spark an immediate upturn starting on Thursday night.
Rubin Kazan in Europe
Thursday’s Anfield clash will be a historic first meeting between the two sides.
Both do have previous against clubs from the respective countries however – the Reds have taken on Russian opposition 11 times, winning six, drawing once and losing on four occasions.
Rubin have faced and beaten Wigan 1-0, Tottenham 1-0 and Chelsea 3-2 all in the Europa League, and the Reds will have to ensure they’re not added to the list of home clubs beaten by Kazan, who have claimed big results but are yet to win on English soil.
Most of Rubin’s European outings have come in the Europa League, but they have proven a threat for Europe’s elite too – picking up a famous 2-1 victory against then Champions League holders, Barcelona, at the Nou Camp.
The visitors return to continental competition after a year absence, with their last adventure in 2013/14 ending at the round 32 stage of the Europa League after losing to Real Betis.
They will be looking to improve on that this time around – making the most of their fortunate qualification that saw them take Dynamo Moscow’s place – but like Liverpool, must start picking points up.
Rubin Kazan land on Merseyside with a new manager at the helm.
Valeri Chaly recently took over from the dismissed Rinat Bilyaletdinov – father of former Everton and current Kazan midfielder, Diniyar.
Since taking the job, the new coach has mustered just two wins from eight games in charge.
Former Blue, Bilyaletdinov could feature against the Reds, who will have to keep an eye on the experienced but talented Turkish midfielder, Gokdeniz Karadeniz.
Brazilian attacking midfielder Carlos Eduardo – who joined Kazan in a big money €20million move from Hoffenheim in 2010 – is another dangerous option at Rubin’s disposal.
Rubin come into the clash at the foot of Group B with only a single point to their name from their opening two matches.
The Russians suffered defeat to group leaders Sion before playing out a goalless stalemate against Bordeaux.
An improvement in performance and result in France will provide increased confidence heading into Thursday night, with the chance to cause an upset against the script on Klopp’s Anfield debut.
Despite being the only side in the group to have lost, Rubin have conceded the same amount of goals as Liverpool, scoring only one less than the Reds.
As with their struggling start in Europe, Kazan are in the middle of a less-than-impressive Russian Premier League campaign.
They sit in 12th place having picked up just three wins in 12 games, losing eight of those fixtures.
As a result of their poor form both domestically and in Europe, the Russians arrive with only one win from their last seven games.
The Reds are even worse off in comparison, with only one win from their last 10 matches in all competitions after the goalless draw at Tottenham.
Europe: Rubin Kazan – LD Liverpool – DD
All competitions: Last 10 games:
Rubin – WLWLDLLDLW
Liverpool – DLLDDDWDDD
Liverpool come into the game as 8/15 shots, with a draw valued at 3/1 and a Kazan victory priced at 6/1. A Reds win with both teams to score is available at 3/1 too.
Press Conference Quotes
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Ahead of making his Anfield debut, Klopp told his pre-match press-conference:
“We have to be a bigger challenge for Rubin. I hope we can take this special atmosphere and transport it into the game.
“We have to be concentrated but we have to really open to help from supporters.”
Lucas Leiva, who joined Klopp in the press-conference, said:
“Everyone is really excited. Tomorrow will be the first game under him at Anfield, European nights are always special.
“Winning always gives you confidence to go forward. That’s what we are going to do tomorrow – 100 per cent to win.”
- Read More: Liverpool vs. Rubin Kazan: The opposition view
- See Also: Should Jurgen Klopp rotate or play a full strength XI vs. Rubin Kazan?