Whilst the Belgium side caused the Reds multiple problems in the last round of group fixtures, Jurgen Klopp is expected to rotate ahead of the crunch Premier League clash with title-rivals Manchester City on Sunday, writes @sam0007ster.
Liverpool host Genk at Anfield on Tuesday night hoping to move one step closer to the Champions League knockout stage. Under Klopp, Liverpool are yet to lose a home game against European opposition. So Anfield is sure to be expectant.
The Reds sit second in Group E, one point behind leaders Napoli and three ahead of Red Bull Salzburg in third. Genk are bottom having mustered just one point from three games.
No Room for Complacency:
If Paul Onuachu and Mbwana Samatta had their shooting boots on against the Reds in the last round, Genk may twice have equalised in a first half which ebbed and flowed. In the end, the redmen ran out 4-1 victors (which perhaps doesn’t tell the whole story).
But Liverpool are overwhelming favourites at Anfield. Genk have shipped ten goals in just three group games thus far, six of which came at the Red Bull Arena on matchday one.
Klopp, however, knows the dangers of complacency. In his pre-match press-conference, the German said: “It’s a challenge but a nice one to have… It’s not the biggest problem to have. It’s 100% clear we have to put in a proper shift.”
“We have to use the spaces. The group is still open and we need everyone. They can still make Europa League so they still have targets. We need to respect them. Story of last 2 years, we were always spot on when we needed to be.”
Expect changes. Klopp made a point of not wanting to think about the City game in his press-conference, but the magnitude of what is to come must be in the back of his mind.
Think, for example, of the tactical switch against Villa which saw Fabinho – who is one yellow card away from suspension – left out at the weekend.
Divock Origi is bang in form after his recent brace helped Liverpool progress into the League Cup quarterfinal. Mohammed Salah ankle problem continues to be a concern, so the Egyptian may sit out of this one. Origi could well fill the void.
The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita both made late cameo appearances on Saturday, and in double-quick time, helped overturn the one goal deficit at Villa Park. That, of course, won’t harm their claims for a starting berth.
Klopp may be tempted to give young Trent Alexander-Arnold a rest given his age and the fact he is an ever-present in the Premier League. Joe Gomez is also desperate for minutes.
Joel Matip remains on the side lines having aggravated a knee problem against Manchester Utd a couple of weeks back. Liverpool have no new injury problems.
Sam’s predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Lallana, Keita; Mane, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Origi.
Up the Reds.