Liverpool face a massive test on Wednesday when they head to PSG, with victory seeing Jurgen Klopp‘s side close in on the Champions League‘s last 16.
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Liverpool
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 — 8pm (GMT)
Parc des Princes
Champions League Group Stage (5)
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
The Reds secured yet another Premier League win at the weekend, digging deep against a good Watford side before eventually running out 3-0 victors.
It saw another clean sheet recorded and three points added to the tally, in what is Liverpool’s best-ever start to a Premier League season after 13 matches.
Attention now turns to the Champions League, however, as they come up against one of world football’s most dangerous attacking sides.
The shock defeat at Red Star earlier this month has blown Group C wide open, with little room for error now allowed for Klopp’s men.
They know that a win at the Parc des Princes will secure a place in the last 16 if Napoli avoid defeat, but equally, losing could leave them needing to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s side by two clear goals at Anfield on December 11.
The Reds cannot afford to slip below their best level on Wednesday, with PSG a team brimming with world-class talent.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have just picked up their 14th Ligue 1 victory in a row—the longest league winning streak in the club’s history—and in Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani they have a trio of superstars in their ranks.
Liverpool have no reason to fear their opponents, however, as they showed when they outplayed them in a 3-2 victory at Anfield in September.
Defensively they look superb and there are signs that their own attacking stars are beginning to find the form of last season.
It promises to be one of those nervy European nights—one full of entertainment, drama and hopefully a significant Liverpool win.
Last meeting: Liverpool 3-2 PSG
Joe Gomez missed the Watford game through injury but he is in contention to return to the side on Wednesday night.
Sadio Mane has recovered from illness, too, but Kamil Grabara and Divock Origi are ruled out.
Adam Lallana is still missing with a minor problem, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are continued long-term absentees.
It could be that Klopp opts to play Gomez at right-back in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold, with his defensive superiority possibly the better option up against Neymar.
Changes are expected further up the pitch, too, but Jordan Henderson is likely to start due to being suspended for Sunday’s visit of Everton.
Fabinho could come in to face the club who reportedly tried to sign him in the summer, with Naby Keita and James Milner also hoping to start, having been on the substitutes’ bench at Watford.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah may all play in Klopp’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation—it depends how attack-minded the manager sets out.
Rafa Camacho has been named in Liverpool’s 21-man squad, but there was no place for Nathaniel Clyne or Dominic Solanke.
Neymar and Mbappe are both fit for PSG despite speculation suggesting otherwise in the last week, and should start alongside Cavani.
Tuchel has no other injury concerns, with Dani Alves making his long-awaited return in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Toulouse.
Liverpool’s Squad vs. PSG
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Mignolet, Kelleher
Defenders: Van Dijk, Gomez, Lovren, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Moreno
Midfielders: Keita, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson
Forwards: Firmino, Mane, Salah, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Camacho
Parc des Princes
Address: 24 Rue du Commandant Guilbaud, 75016 Paris, France
Did You Know?
Firmino has shone in the Champions League for Liverpool, proving to be more prolific than he is in the Premier League.
The Brazilian has 12 goals in just 17 appearances in Europe’s top club competition, including the winner against PSG in September.
He is the Reds’ joint-second highest Champions League goalscorer of all time—level with Salah and behind Steven Gerrard, who leads the way with 30 goals.
PSG – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 1-0 vs. Toulouse
Won 4-0 vs. Monaco
Drew 1-1 vs. Napoli
Won 2-1 vs. Lille
Won 2-0 vs. Marseille
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions
Won 3-0 vs. Watford
Won 2-0 vs. Fulham
Lost 2-0 vs. Red Star Belgrade
Drew 1-1 vs. Arsenal
Won 4-1 vs. Cardiff
Speaking in his press conference on Tuesday, Klopp insisted his side were “100 percent focused” to ensure PSG’s Ligue 1 form didn’t carry over into the tie:
“The more difficult it is, the more I enjoy the preparation.
“PSG are so dominant in the league, we have to make sure they are not that dominant here.
“The boys are 100 percent focused, and hopefully we can see that tomorrow night.
“The players know more about these players’ individual strengths than I do. But they can only shine if they get the ball.”
TV & Live Blog Info
PSG vs. Liverpool is part of BT Sport’s Champions League coverage, with the match live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm (GMT).
Henry Jackson is in the hot-seat for This is Anfield’s live blog from 7.15pm, as he talks you through all the action on a big night at Parc des Princes.
Come on you Reds!