The Champions League returns to Anfield for the first time since Liverpool smashed Barcelona to overcome a three-goal first-leg deficit.
The result cemented the club’s place in Madrid, where they eventually topped Spurs to become European Champions.Embed from Getty Images
The Reds now look to get this season’s Champions League campaign back on track after their Match Day 1 loss in Naples. While fans will see this week’s game as a more winnable fixture for Jürgen Klopp’s side, RB Salzburg cannot be taken lightly.
Since Salzburg’s Red Bull takeover in 2006, they’ve gone on to win 10 Austrian titles. The Austrian Bundesliga may not be a benchmark in European competitions, but Salzburg have proven their qualities by beating teams such as Napoli, Leipzig, Dortmund, and Marseille in their recent Champions League and Europa League endeavors.
They also started their current Champions League season in flying colors, beating Genk 6-2 in their opening test.
Erling Håland, Salzburg’s star striker, struck three of the goals in his Champions League debut, taking his tally to 17 goals in 10 appearances this season.Embed from Getty Images
Though strong in attack, the Austrian side can be suspect in defense. Liverpool’s front three will aim to give their backline plenty of problems throughout the 90 minutes.
The Merseysiders may receive a huge boost should Håland be unavailable, with the forward is currently fighting illness and racing time to be match fit.
This past week provided some huge positives regarding squad fitness.
Naby Keïta made his much-awaited return with an impressive performance against MK Dons in the Carabao Cup. After sitting out at the weekend, the Guinaen is in prime contention for a starting spot in the middle of the park.
Both Keïta and Sadio Mané will have extra motivation as they face their former club.Embed from Getty Images
Divock Origi’s substitute appearance against Sheffield United was a welcomed sight after hobbling off against Newcastle United.
Alisson has also returned to full training. While Adrián and Caoimhin Kelleher have proven their quality in the Brazilian’s absence, the Liverpool camp will be ecstatic to get their number one goalkeeper back.
One negative this past week was Xherdan Shaqiri picking up a calf injury in training, with no definite timetable in place for his return.
Nathanial Clyne’s long term injury ensures he’ll remain out of the squad for another few months at least.
Predicted XI: Adrián; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keïta; Mané, Salah, Firmino
Kick-Off: Wednesday 20:00 UK Time