Liverpool face a potentially nervy trip to Salzburg on Tuesday evening, with defeat likely to see them eliminated from the Champions League.
Salzburg vs. Liverpool
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 – 5.55pm (GMT)
Red Bull Arena
Champions League Group Stage (6)
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NL)
Saturday’s 3-0 win at Bournemouth was one of the Reds’ most comfortable outings of the season to date, on a day when they pulled 14 points clear of Man City.
After struggling to hit top gear for a while, in terms of performances, there are signs that Jurgen Klopp‘s men are starting to click.
Salzburg await in midweek, in what could be a tricky Champions League night for the reigning European champions.
Defeat for the visitors, as well as Napoli presumably winning at home to Genk, would mean Liverpool crash out at the first hurdle.
Salzburg showed what a threat they can be in the return fixture at Anfield, with the Reds’ 4-3 victory extremely hard-earned.
Jesse Marsch’s side have the ability to cause Liverpool big problems on Tuesday, especially with man-of-the-moment Erling Braut Haaland leading the line.
The 19-year-old has already scored 28 goals this season and Liverpool are one of a host of clubs linked with a move for him.
This Liverpool team are still the most feared in club football at the moment, however, and they should have too much for their opponents.
Confidence is high and the thought of going out this early in the competition is not a pleasant one.
It is likely to be an evening that has its scares, but Liverpool should progress to the knockout rounds.
Dejan Lovren limped out of the win at Bournemouth with cramp and he is likely to miss Tuesday’s game.
Joel Matip and Fabinho also remain sidelined, with the pair not expected to return to the fold until some time after Christmas.
Adam Lallana is another who isn’t expected to feature, having missed the weekend action.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will come back in at right-back and Lovren’s absence means Joe Gomez will partner Virgil van Dijk at centre-back.
Gini Wijnaldum is fit again after being ruled out against Bournemouth, meaning the Dutchman should return to the starting lineup.
James Milner is the most likely to make way, especially after Naby Keita enjoyed such a productive afternoon at Bournemouth.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also a midfield option, however.
Sadio Mane is set for a recall after earning a richly deserved breather at the weekend, joining Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in attack.
Salzburg are without Alexander Walke, Antoine Bernede, Patrick Farkas and Sekou Koita.
Red Bull Arena
Address: Stadionstraße 2/3, 5071, Austria
Did You Know?
Ahead of the game, it is worth remembering that Liverpool’s Achilles heel in recent times has been away games in the Champions League.
The Reds have only won two of their eight away group stage matches in the competition under Klopp, both of which came against relative minnows in Maribor and Genk.
Liverpool have still enjoyed some impressive wins on their travels in the knockout stages, in fairness, but it has still been a noticeable issue.
They must be switched on from the off against Salzburg, or risk getting themselves into a sticky situation.
Salzburg – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 5-1 vs. Swarovski Tirol
Drew 1-1 vs. Admira
Won 4-1 vs. Genk
Drew 2-2 vs. St. Polten
Won 3-0 vs. Wolfsberger AC
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 3-0 vs. Bournemouth
Won 5-2 vs. Everton
Won 2-1 vs. Brighton
Drew 1-1 vs. Napoli
Won 2-1 vs. Crystal Palace
TV & Live Blog Info
Salzburg vs. Liverpool is live on BT Sport 3 from 5.15pm (GMT), with kickoff at 5.55pm.
Don’t make the error of thinking it’s the usual later Champions League start time!
Ben Twelves is in charge of This is Anfield’s live blog from 5.10pm, hopefully guiding you through another Reds victory.