Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Champions League Group D clash between Liverpool and Midtjylland FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
FC Midtjyllandis the first away game in the Champions League There is hardly a more glamorous place than visiting Anfield to compete against six-time competition winners Liverpool at Tuesday evening.
The two teams had opposing successes on matchday one. Liverpool won 1-0 against Ajax and Midtjylland and lost 4-0 at home to Atalanta BC.
Remarkably, Liverpool have only won the first two group games of a 2008-09 Champions League season once, but they will be firm favorites to accomplish that feat on Tuesday.
Jürgen KloppThe team scored a 1-0 triumph against Ajax on matchday one thanks to an accident Nicolas Tagliafico Own goal, with conceding almost as valuable as victory for a team that was still wavering from the news that Virgil van Dijk will likely miss the rest of the season.
With Ajax scoring 13 away goals in the Eredivisie over the weekend, keeping them at bay was no easy task and a four-goal, which has been relatively leaky so far this season, hopes to prevent Midtjylland from making their first Goal to score champions league goal.
The Reds have not conceded a goal in the Champions League in any of their last four attempts and have scored eight goals in that time – more than in the previous 13.
Three of them came in their last game, when Atletico Madrid dethroned their then competitors with a 3-2 triumph at Anfield last season, ending an unbeaten streak of 25 home games in Europe that goes back to October 2014.
Liverpool have not suffered direct European defeats since December 2009, however, and Anfield has become something of a fortress in recent years – especially domestically.
Saturday’s win against Sheffield United made 62 home games unbeaten in the Premier League Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota knocked down another controversial VAR call that had put the Blades in the lead.
The Reds are now at the top of both the Premier League and Group D in the Champions League, despite Atalanta BC leading the way in terms of goal difference after their big win against Midtjylland on Matchday 1.
The Danish debutants have been given a baptism of fire by the Serie A detached team and won’t expect it to be any easier when they meet Liverpool for the first time.
The omens are not good for the visitors; All four previous Danish teams that played in the Champions League lost their first away game, while 14 of the 16 teams that played their first away game in the Champions League against English opponents also lost – most recently Qarabag’s 6-0 at the hands of Chelsea in 2017.
While the trip to Merseyside will be uncharted territory for Midtjylland as a club, manager Brian Priske has some experience in the field – he faced Liverpool three times in a 2005/06 season with Portsmouth although he will be hoping for better results after losing all three games.
Midtjylland have also won three of their six previous meetings with English opposition, including a famous 2015/16 Europa League win over Manchester United.
The Danish champions will also head to Anfield in a buoyant mood after making an impressive comeback at title rivals Brondby to turn a 2-0 deficit in the last half hour into a 3-2 win at the weekend, including a 94 . Minute winner.
Midtjylland has not done too well in previous European competitions in its travels, losing seven of its nine games and winning only one.
However, Priske’s side prevailed on their way to qualifying for the group stage at Ludogorets, also beating Young Boys and Slavia Prague before coming into a difficult group alongside Liverpool, Atalanta and Ajax.
Liverpool Champions League Form: W.
Liverpool form (all competitions): WLLDWW
FC Midtjylland Champions League Form: L.
FC Midtjylland Form (all competitions): WWDWLW
Liverpool will hope to have Thiago Alcantara available again after narrowly missing out on a spot against Sheffield United on Saturday – a legacy of RicharlisonRed Card Challenge in the Merseyside Derby.
Joel Matip was also absent at the weekend, but could be available again for this one, although the form of Fabinho The center-back has been encouraging since Virgil van Dijk was excluded for the remainder of the season.
Van Dijk’s absence was also made easier by the early return of something Alisson Becker to fitness, with the Brazilian goalkeeper straight back in the side against Sheffield United.
Naby Keita also urges a return in this match, however Kostas Tsimikas and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stay on the track.
Mohamed Salah If selected, he will appear in the Champions League for the 50th time. In his nine group games at Anfield, he was directly involved in nine goals. Braces in this match would see him in a moment Steven GerrardClub record of 21 Champions League goals.
Jota scored a goal on his first start in the Premier League at the weekend so may have done enough to hold onto his spot, allowing Klopp to put in a 4-2-3-1 formation again.
However, he can also view this match as a good opportunity to rest with one or more of his star names Sadio Mane perhaps at the top of that queue given Jota’s form.
Midtjylland is expected to welcome Denmark International Pione Sisto back to the starting line-up after scoring off the bench in the weekend comeback win against Brondby.
Sisto has scored three goals since returning from Celta Vigo this summer but has yet to prevail in the Champions League.
Anders Dreyer was also on the scoresheet at the weekend and has experience of English football from his time at Brighton & Hove Albion, although he never appeared on the first team for the Seagulls.
goalkeeper Jesper Hansen I hope to improve an undesirable Champions League record after conceding 26 times in seven previous appearances – four times against Atalanta on Matchday 1 and 22, while I was at Nordsjaelland in 2012/13.
Liverpool possible starting line-up:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Gomez, Robertson; Thiago, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Jota
FC Midtjylland possible starting line-up:
Hansen; Andersson, Sviatchenko, Scholz, Paulinho; Onyeka, Cajuste; Dreyer, Sisto, Mabil; Kaba
We say: Liverpool 3-0 FC Midtjylland
It’s difficult to see a win at Liverpool in this game, and at a reasonably comfortable one. Midtjylland were a distant second-best against Atalanta and this just seems like a tougher challenge.
Klopp may take the opportunity to rest one or two of his stars, but the hosts should still have enough to take two of two Group D wins.
Top betting tip
Our experienced betting partners at Sporita.com predict less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Under 3.5: data
ID: 419807: cQx
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