UEFA Champions League football returns to Anfield on Wednesday, when the Reds host Sevilla in one of the more exciting Week One ties. Liverpool will be hoping to recover from Saturday’s catastrophic defeat to Manchester City by making decent headway in their first Champions League campaign since 2014-2015. To do this, however, they must try to thwart the team who swept them aside in the 2015-2016 Europa League Final.
The Merseysiders have been bereft of European silverware since 2005, but they will take solace in the fact that their shiny new team is far more capable than their most recent predecessors.
But, as Liverpool know, winning the Champions League is no mean feat. The toughest cup competition on the planet is a whole different kettle of fish; especially when compared to the ‘nearly men’ of the Europa League.
Let’s start with Sevilla.
Liverpool team news
Jurgen Klopp, or “Jurgen Flop” as he has been referred to this week, will be without long-term injured Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne. The latter has been sorely missed since picking up a back injury in pre-season, and his omission from the squad has meant Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have been press ganged into the first team. And it shows.
Dejan Lovren should return in central defence after missing out against Manchester City.
Reserve goalkeeper Adam Bogdan is also out injured.
On the plus side, Philippe Coutinho could return to the Liverpool line-up after his supposed transfer to Barcelona collapsed. The Brazilian was fortunate enough to miss Liverpool’s ass-whooping at The Etihad, but has returned to full training and could be the boost The Reds need. After Sanchez’s frosty reception at the weekend, I’m intrigued to see how the home fans react to seeing their little magician return to Anfield.
The Reds’ Mané Man
Sadio Mané’s hotly debated red card has resulted in a three game suspension (at the time of writing this) from domestic football. What this does mean, however, is that the Senegalese sensation will be available to play on Wednesday. Mané is still in search of his first UCL goal, but he will take confidence from the four goals he has scored in the last month. A desire to right Saturday’s wrongs also makes an anytime goal look appealing at 27/20.
Liverpool’s last 5 results:
15 Aug – Champions League First playoff round, Game 1
Hoffenheim 1 – 2 Liverpool
19 Aug – Premier League
Liverpool 1 – 0 Crystal Palace
23 Aug – Champions League First playoff round, Game 2
Liverpool 4 – 2 Hoffenheim
27 Aug – Premier League
Liverpool 4 – 0 Arsenal
9 Sep – Premier League
Man. City 5 – 0 Liverpool
Sevilla team news
Spain international Nolito, who signed from Manchester City in the summer, has been ruled out with a thigh problem, sustained during the side’s 3-0 win over Eibar on Saturday.
Sevilla’s other absentee is Johannes Geis, the midfielder who joined from Schalke on deadline day.
Goalkeeper David Soria is still out after his finger injury last month.
Record signing Luis Muriel will rejoin the squad after missing Sevilla’s game on Saturday.
Berizzo has also recalled David Soria, Nico Pareja, Guido Pizarro, Michael Krohn-Dehli and Ever Banega, after resting them against Eibar at the weekend.
Sevilla’s last 5 results:
16 Aug – Champions League First playoff round, Game 1
İstanbul Başakşehir 1 – 2 Sevilla
19 Aug – La Liga
Sevilla 1 – 1 Espanyol
22 Aug – Champions League First playoff round, Game 2
Sevilla 2 – 2 İstanbul Başakşehir
27 Aug – La Liga
Getafe CF 0 – 1 Sevilla
9 Sep – La Liga
Sevilla 3 – 0 Eibar
Sevilla team form
The early signs of the season have been positive for The Andalusians, despite having had an uncomfortable two games against İstanbul Başakşehir.
Sevilla’s 3-0 win over Eibar on Saturday proved that the La Liga side have no problems in front of goal, too. Despite scoring his first goal for Sevilla at the weekend, Ex-Manchester City player Nolito won’t be available to play against Liverpool due to a thigh injury. Therefore, Eduardo Berizzo must turn to Paulo Henrique Ganso to subdue what should be a raucous Anfield crowd.
Liverpool vs Sevilla betting tips and odds
Like Liverpool, Sevilla’s focus is on attacking football, and they will head to Anfield with the hope of testing Simon Mignolet at every opportunity. This should create a fantastic flow to the contest and result in a truckload of goals.
Liverpool are the much bigger favourites in this match and this probably lays thanks to the club’s faithful fans; Anfield under the lights in Europe is quite the spectacle, and I expect the players to feed off this frenzy.
I will be backing Over 2.5 goals (1.53) and Mané to score anytime (2.10).
What time does Liverpool vs Sevilla start?
Date: Wednesday, September 13
Time: 7:45 p.m. (BST), 2:45 p.m. (ET)
What channel is Liverpool vs Sevilla on?
TV Info: BT Sport (UK), FOX Sports (U.S.)
Live Stream: BT Sport website (UK), FOX Sports Go (U.S.)