UEFA Champions League preview – Group C: Red Star Belgrade vs Liverpool – November 6, 2018 – Rajko Mitic Stadium – 17:55 hrs BST
Red Star Belgrade vs Liverpool Tips:
Bookmaker odds correct as of 05/11/2018 and subject to change.
After a satisfying showing against Arsenal in a 1-1 draw played out in a Premier League clash at the Emirates stadium on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool now head for Serbia where they place Red Star Belgrade in a return UEFA Champions' League Group fixture on Tuesday night.
The Reds had thrashed the Serbian outfit 4-0 at Anfield in the 1st leg in late-October with a brace coming from Mohammed Salah and further goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
The Liverpool front trio will be expected to deliver at the Rajko Mitic Stadium on November 6 and cement the club's place in the Round of 8.
But it isn't going to be smooth going for the visitors from England as Red Star are a hard side to beat at home. Tuesday's hosts have won all their previous five fixtures against English clubs and are unbeaten in their last seven European home matches.
Jurgen Klopp will probably maintain the same side that played Arsenal with the Salah-Firminio-Sane combine leading the attack. Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho and James Milner will bring up the rear. The defense will be marshalled by Virgil Van Dijk who has become such a key figure for the Reds at the back and even in attack. He will be assisted by the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Robertson and the very dependable Alisson between the posts.
For the hosts, it's a matter of survival and it's imperative that they win Tuesday's Group C fixture. Coach Vladan Milojevic's side are at the bottom of the cluster having just managed a point from their three games so far. Apart from their home game against Napoli which they unsurprisingly drew 0-0, they have been thrashed by Paris St Germain and Liverpool, taking in as many as 10 goals from those couple of games. Their regular forward line has been absolutely ineffective and the lone goal scored in the 1-6 trouncing by PSG was by Marko Marin, an on-and-off winger who has featured in just 8 games for the club this season.
Liverpool would want to win this one badly as their next fixture would be an away game against the formidable PSG. Leading the Group C momentarily with 6 points, the Reds are a slender point ahead of Napoli who have home fixtures against PSG and Red Star with three potentially easy points expected with the latter. So, a draw at Belgrade for the Reds may not suffice.
Despite the poor history plaguing English sides visiting Belgrade, bookmakers are overwhelmingly wagering on a Liverpool win. The Merseyside club, though, has the goods to break the hoodoo surrounding English clubs’ performances in Serbia. But given the tough playing conditions and the hostile environment at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, a draw looks the most likely outcome.