A European night at Anfield is quite something and Liverpool will look to draw on their fans for inspiration when they entertain Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
As preparations go, Liverpool’s has been far from ideal – a 5-0 Premier League mauling at the hands of Manchester City.
As good as City were at Eastlands, 5-0 is not a fair reflection as the Reds fell apart following the dismissal of Sadio Mane for a dangerous tackle on Ederson. The positive for Liverpool is that Mane will be raring to go, ahead of what will be a domestic ban.
188BET rate Liverpool as strong favourites, chalking them up at 1.74, and that could underestimate their Spanish rivals who are available to back at 4.60 – with the draw at 4.00.
While the Reds have sizzling attacking options spearheaded by Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, they have mistakes in them at the back.
The big criticism of manager Jurgen Klopp’s summer transfer window business was his failure to bring in a commanding centre-half. Attempts were made to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, but the lack of a back-up plan could hurt the Reds as the season progresses.
Sevilla are a much-changed outfit from the one that beat Liverpool in the 2016 Europa League final, with a host of key figures having moved on. Transfer guru Monchi may now be weaving his magic at Roma, but he left a lasting legacy and coach Ernesto Berizzo will be confident his charges can pull off a result at Anfield.
Gone is the swarming, suffocating high press of Jorge Sampaoli, with Sevilla more controlled in their approach. It may be a shift in direction, but it has served them well in the early weeks of the Liga season as they sit third thanks to two wins and a draw.
Steven N’Zonzi will be charged with the task of breaking down Liverpool’s attacking play and he is a defensive midfielder of the highest order. If he wins his battles, Liverpool will find themselves under pressure in their own third.
Ganso is enjoying a revival at Sevilla under Berizzo and if N’Zonzi can get the ball to the Brazilian often enough, his range of passing will be a threat to the Reds.
Liverpool will look to counter that with attacking threat of their own. A question on many fans’ lips is whether Philippe Coutinho will start.
Klopp has said the Brazilian is over his desire to leave in the summer and will be involved at some stage. After the chastening defeat at the hands of City, it would not come as any surprise were he to start.
Coutinho has some making up to do with the Liverpool fans, but goals and assists can soothe any issues. His manager needs him to hit the ground running; a Champions League night at Anfield is the ideal place to start.