Salzburg v Liverpool preview | Confirmed team news | Expected Line-up’s | Prediction
This is our match preview ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Salzburg in the Champions League including team news, line-ups and prediction
Liverpool take on Salzburg in Austria later this evening needing a positive result to guarantee their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League [5.55pm kick off].
The Reds currently sit top of Group E on 10 points but their place in the last-16 is far from certain heading into the final group stage game as Napoli are just one point back in second while Salzburg are three points adrift in third.
Victory or a draw for Liverpool would be enough to secure qualification to the knockouts but defeat would likely see the reigning champions crash out as Napoli are expected to beat Genk at home.
Salzburg showed how dangerous they are with a hard fought 4-3 defeat at Anfield in the reverse fixture and should Liverpool lose this evening, they would need to score four or more away goals to progress with a better head-to-head record.
However, Jurgen Klopp should be confident in his sides ability to get a positive result in Austria as Liverpool have been in formidable form this season and maintained their unbeaten run in the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Liverpool have been boosted by the news that Dejan Lovren is fit to start after shaking off a minor knock that forced him off during the win at the Vitality Stadium at the weekend.
Georginio Wijnaldum has returned to the squad after recovering from a thigh complaint that kept him out of the Bournemouth game but Adam Lallana misses out with a muscle issue.
However, Liverpool continue to be without the services of Joel Matip as the defender is still working his way back to full fitness from a troublesome knee injury that’s kept him out since October.
Fabinho is also still unavailable due to an ankle ligament injury but Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane are expected to be recalled after being rested at the weekend.
Salzburg have injury problems of their own as they’ll be without Alexander Walke, Antoine Bernede, Patrick Farkas and Sekou Koita.
Salzburg 1-2 Liverpool: The Merseysiders flew into a 3-0 lead in the reverse fixture but Salzburg showed they can compete with the very best after pushing the Reds all the way in a 4-3 defeat so this task shouldn’t be underestimated. Liverpool will be confident of getting the result they need as they’re on a stunning run of form this season but it could be a nervy night if they don’t get themselves in front.
However, Salzburg need to win so they’ll go for it and that should leave plenty of room for Liverpool to exploit. I’m backing Klopp’s side to edge a narrow 2-1 win to book their place in the knockout stages.
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