Sevilla kick off their Champions League campaign with a trip to Anfield to take on a Liverpool side that they defeated in the Final of the 2016 Europa League Final.
Sevilla and Liverpool will be favourites to qualify from Group E but both will want to get off to a positive start before taking on Spartak Moscow and Maribor who make up the group and who will meet each other in Slovenia on Wednesday night.
Sevilla have made a great start to the season and remain undefeated in all competitions after two wins and a draw in their first three league games as well as a 4-3 aggregate win over Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League Playoff Round. Despite that positive start the performances weren’t necessarily that impressive until their 3-0 win over Eibar at the weekend. That was by far their best display of the season and they look to be peaking at the right time as they will want to make a big impact in the Champions League this season.
Sevilla manager, Eduardo Berizzo will have to do without Nolito for the trip to England and Borja Lasso, Johannes Geis and Lionel Carole will also be unavailable and won’t travel. Nolito picked up a thigh injury late on in the win over Eibar on Saturday while the others just weren’t named in the squad.
Liverpool come into the game in mixed form. They had got off to a great start, comfortably beating Hoffenheim in the Champions League Playoff Round before taking seven points from their first three league games including an impressive 4-0 win over Arsenal just before the international break. However, at the weekend they suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat to Manchester City which exposed a lot of the old defensive frailties that Jurgen Klopp still hasn’t addressed. Many Liverpool fans will point to the Saido Mane red card in the first half as the reason for the loss but it is still no excuse for the way they capitulated in the second half.
The big team news ahead of this game for the hosts is that want away midfielder Philippe Coutinho is expected to be in the squad. Coutinho spent much of the summer trying to initiate a move to Barcelona but Liverpool stood strong and refused to negotiate with the Catalan giants. Coutinho hasn’t featured for Liverpool this season but Klopp has said that he will be involved in this game. Other absentees will be Adam Lallana and Adam Bogdan who have been ruled out through injury while Danny Ings and Nathaniel Clyne are also listed as doubtful.
With home advantage Liverpool will probably be favourites to win the game but there doesn’t look to be a lot between the sides and it could go either way. Both will know that there should be more straight forward games still to come in the group and regardless of what happens on Wednesday night they will still have five games to seal progression to the knockout stages in the new year.