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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Spaniards may not keep pacy Reds at bay

Liverpool defence has to recover from City thumping

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will want a reaction to Saturday's 5-0 loss at Manchester City
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Group E
BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Wednesday

The celebrated Champions League Anfield nights return with a decent game in prospect between Liverpool and Sevilla, a rematch of the 2016 Europa League final.

The noise can be relied upon, but Reds fans may be questioning whether the same faith can be placed in their defence following their 5-0 thumping at Manchester City on Saturday.

Sadio Mane’s red card just before half-time undoubtedly had a huge effect on the final scoreline, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saw his side capitulate and they need to show stronger reserves if they are to get their Group E quest off to a winning start.

They possess so much attacking flair that they are capable of having their moments against any team in Europe’s premier club competition.

Mo Salah fluffed at least one good opportunity when the game at the Etihad was still winnable, and looks set to miss out through illness, but Mane and Roberto Firmino provide equally talented attacking flair.

And Klopp has said that Philippe Coutinho could be involved since his move to Barcelona has not materialised, giving the manager further striking options.

But they need to keep things tighter at the back as Sevilla have scored in 17 of their last 19 La Liga away games.

Progress to this stage of the competition was a bit of a scrape as they drew 2-2 in the home second leg against Istanbul Basaksehir after a 2-1 win in Turkey.

However, Eduardo Berizzo’s side have won their first two league matches having finished fourth in the league last season, six points behind third-placed Atletico Madrid and 21 behind champions Real Madrid.

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Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund

Feyenoord v Man City

Their 19 league away games featured 63 goals under Berizzo’s predecessor Jorge Sampaoli, who left to manage Argentina, and there should be plenty of chances in this encounter, even though former Manchester City forward Nolito is ruled out through injury.

The vulnerability the Reds showed at the weekend is unlikely to have gone unnoticed, but there have to be concerns that the Spaniards have conceded at least twice in eight of their last 15 away games.

They may not be solid enough to keep the Reds at bay and while they do possess a decent goal threat, backing the home team to win despite conceding looks a sensible move.

Liverpool to win and both teams to score
1pt 2-1 bet365, Betway, Hills

Team news
Adam Lallana is still out with a thigh injury while Philippe Coutinho could be involved. Dejan Lovren could be recalled, but Mo Salah is struggling with illness.

Nolito is out with a thigh injury while Johannes Geis was not selected in the squad.

Key stat
Sevilla have won just one of their last seven group-stage away games

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They possess so much attacking flair that they are capable of having their moments against any team in Europe's premier club competition
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