Will Reds fire as Klopp seeks Champions League away win? – Maribor vs. Liverpool talking points

16 October 2017

Liverpool face Maribor in the Champions League on Tuesday. Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the talking points surrounding the game.


Misfiring Reds

This time 12 months ago Liverpool were brilliant up front, smashing goals past all-comers with relative ease.

It is not so much the brakes have been put on so much as the radar is offline.

Incredibly Jurgen Klopp‘s side have had more shots in the Premier League than leaders Manchester City but have scored 16 fewer goals.

They do not have a fully-functioning out-and-out striker like their north-west rivals but the fluidity of their forward line was meant to compensate for that.

Without Sadio Mane, out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, their impact has been lessened and while Mohamed Salah is their leading scorer he showed against Manchester United at the weekend he is not the clinical finisher the Reds require.

 

Waiting for Champions League Breakthrough

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 23, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts after TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match between Liverpool and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s last away win in the Champions League came against Debrecen in November 2009.

In mitigation, this is only their second appearance in eight years in the competition but they have had chances to break that run—not least against Spartak Moscow last time out when they dominated but left with a draw.

Two points from their opening two matches is not what Klopp would have expected, especially after conceding a winning position late on at home to Sevilla in their opening game.

 

Can Karius Convince?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, September 25, 2017: Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match against FC Spartak Moscow. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

The German has been designated Champions League goalkeeper by Klopp but his performances so far have done little to vindicate the manager’s faith.

He was criticised for not reacting quickly enough to the free-kick which allowed Spartak to take an early lead in Moscow last time out which put his side under pressure.

Due to Klopp’s rotation policy Karius has not played since then but needs to put in a dominant, confident display in order to prevent more questions about his suitability for such high-profile games.

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