10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Rangers

Liverpool have to swiftly put the weekend behind them and channel any frustration towards the visiting Rangers, as the Champions League campaign continues under the Anfield lights.

Liverpool vs. Rangers

Champions League Group Stage (3) | Anfield
October 4, 2022 | 8pm (BST)

After nearly three weeks without a game, there was plenty of expectation placed on Liverpool’s return but their showing against Brighton only saw Jurgen Klopp‘s side pick up from where they left off.

The Reds are far from the all-conquering side we all admired last season and they’ll need to have the bit between their teeth against what will be a spirited Rangers side.

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of Tuesday’s kickoff.


1. Historic meeting

The Rangers team have come together to help their colleagues (PA)

Incredibly, this clash is the first-ever competitive meeting between the two sides, despite a shared history of 130 years!

The two clubs have played out 10 friendlies in that time, though, the last coming in 2011 when Kenny Dalglish took his side to Ibrox and Fabio Aurelio scored an own goal.

In fact, the Reds’ only previous European Cup meeting with a Scottish opponent was in 1980/81 when they beat Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen 5-0 on aggregate in the last 16, going on to lift the cup.


2. Familiar faces

Rangers' Ryan Kent celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at the Hope CBD Stadium, Hamilton (Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images)

Rangers is home to ex-Reds Ryan Kent and Ben Davies, the former left Anfield in 2019 and has since played 185 games for the Scottish club with a return of 31 goals and 51 assists.

Davies, on the other hand, only left on a permanent deal this summer and has since made a total of four appearances, amounting to 157 minutes.

The centre-back has been named on the bench in both of the Gers’ Champions League games this season but a suspension to James Sands could open the door for a start, while Kent has played the full 90 in defeats to both Ajax and Napoli.

Ryan Kent has had a great development since moving to Scotland and Ben Davies is just starting out on his journey with Rangers, so it will be good to come up against them,” Klopp said in August.


3. Any players returning for the Reds?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Prior to the visit of Brighton, Liverpool were buoyed by the training return of Ibrahima Konate, Caoimhin Kelleher and Calvin Ramsay.

It left Andy Robertson, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the absentees, which remains the case for this fixture.

Konate could make his return to the matchday squad for the first time since the Community Shield, though, while Kelleher may also be named to allow Klopp to name a 12-man bench.

The injury list is a lot more palatable these days, let’s hope it remains that way for some time!

Liverpool squad in training on Monday

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, October 3, 2022: Liverpool's Calvin Ramsay during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and Glasgow Rangers FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Pitaluga, Mrozek

Defenders: Van Dijk, Matip, Konate, Gomez, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold, Tsimikas, Ramsay

Midfielders: Thiago, Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Arthur, Elliott, Bajcetic

Forwards: Salah, Diaz, Firmino, Jota, Nunez, Carvalho


4. A handful of changes from Klopp?

Klopp has long stressed the need for consistency when looking to find rhythm and results but it would come as no surprise if changes are to be had on Tuesday evening.

Many will be looking out for Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s name on the team sheet, whether that be in the XI or on the bench and one would not be surprised if Joe Gomez takes his place.

Harvey Elliott, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez may also come into the side to freshen up the midfield and the forward line – Liverpool must, at the very least, match Rangers’ energy.

Predicted Reds XI: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Elliott, Thiago; Salah, Diaz, Nunez


5. Kent and Davies both to start?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Ben Davies applauds the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Giovanni van Bronckhorst has overseen a pointless Champions League campaign to date, in the Scottish Premiership his side have won six, drawn one and lost one of their first eight games.

It leaves them just two points behind leaders Celtic and they arrive at Anfield off the back of two victories, against Dundee United (2-1) and Hearts (4-0).

Forward Antonio Colak will be the man to watch, having already scored 11 goals this season, but the Gers have been prone to individual errors and that could very well be their undoing.

Alfredo Morelos will come into contention for this match, as too former Southampton midfielder Steven Davis, but Rangers have a number of injuries to contend with – with John Souttar and Filip Helander out and doubts over Tom Lawrence and Kemar Roofe.

Possible Rangers XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic; Lundstram, Davis, Jack; Tillman, Colak, Kent


6. How is Group A shaping up?

After two matches, Napoli currently sit at the top of Group A thanks to a full complement of points, with Liverpool occupying second spot over Ajax, with both teams on three points.

With two successive defeats, Rangers sit at the bottom of the table having yet to score a goal while conceding seven.

While this match takes place at Anfield, Ajax host Napoli in what will be an interesting tie to keep an eye on such are the tight margins at what will be the halfway stage.


7. Did you know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 1, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s been one of those kind of seasons so far whereby Liverpool have looked a shell of their former selves.

We’ve all been trying to put a finger on what is exactly the root cause but it appears a culmination of factors has led us here, and the Reds love making life harder for themselves – as was the case vs. Brighton.

And when you read that Liverpool have now only led at half-time in three of their last 20 games in all competitions, and two in ten games this season, it only adds to the frustration and bewilderment.

The Reds need to rediscover the art of starting quick and being alive from the first whistle, not after the opposition have scored.


8. “Defending is an art”

Speaking to the press, Klopp touched on Liverpool conceding the same goal time and time again this season and why the lack of intensity is opening the gaps up to the opposition:

“We concede now similar goals, let me say it like this, where they go through the same gaps.

“The special problem we have is that we have a really brave way of defending usually, and when the timing in our defending is not perfect, then we leave a gap open.

“That was always the case, by the way, but because of the pressure we put on the boy on the ball, nobody really recognised it, because we closed it with intensity, if you want.

“We have to be more compact. We have that in our mind, we know that, but in the moment it’s going well, you do it and you do it again. We said it last week, I think, that defending is kind of an art.”

Let’s hope the Reds have a masterpiece in store for us against Rangers.


9. We’ve seen this referee before

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 27: (L-R) Match officials Cyril Gringore, Clement Turpin and Nicolas Danos pose for a photo during the Referee Team Training Session at Stade de France on May 27, 2022 in Paris, France. Liverpool FC will face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final on May 28, 2022. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images) (Photo by UEFA)

The referee for the occasion is Clement Turpin (FRA) and the Reds last encountered him in the Champions League final back in May.

It was the fourth time Turpin has overseen a Liverpool game and the first defeat under his watch with two victories and one draw for the Reds in his previous three games dating back to 2015/16.

Turpin has refereed one Rangers game, a 4-2 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League last February.


10. How can you watch?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool players line-up before the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Rangers is to be shown live on BT Sport 2 in the UK, with coverage starting at 6.30pm (BST) ahead of the 8pm kickoff.

But if you fancy some biased commentary then This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog is the place to be! Henry Jackson will keep you entertained with all the updates, and, hopefully, plenty of goal announcements for the Reds from 7.15pm.

Just win, please!