Liverpool and Sevilla go head to head this evening in what is a repeat of the 2016 Europa League Final. That night saw the Spanish outfit win their third successive trophy after a 3-1 win but tonight Jurgen Klopp will be looking to exact revenge.
Not only that though he will be looking to make sure his team bounce back from their miserable outing to Manchester last weekend. An early season encounter with Manchester City saw them the return to Merseyside after being beaten 5-0 by Pep Guardiola’s men.
A large bearing of that result would have been down to the sending off of Sadio Mane. Yesterday the Senegalese international was unsuccessful in getting his ban shortened and will now subsequently miss the next three Premier League matches.
He is however available to feature this evening. His sending off occured when Liverpool were just a goal down after Sergio Aguero had broken the deadlock but will be of a worry to Klopp and also to fans of the club is the fact that the capitulated after the break.
If they didn’t need a new defender after the 4-0 win over Arsenal then they certainly required one by the end of last weekend. As we well know by now the transfer window is closed until January and once questions will be asked as to why Liverpool’s Klopp did not send for defensive reinforcement.
The answer perhaps lies in the fact he could not get the exact reinforcement he wanted in the shape of Virgil van Dijk but to have nothing resembling a plan b for this particular scenario is something that may well come back to haunt the Anfield outfit.
After a poor showing against Manchester City do not be surprised if Ragnar Klavan finds himself dropped to the bench at best. This could lead to a recall for Joel Matip as he could be paired up with Croatian international Dejan Lovren in the centre of defence.
Philippe Coutinho could make his first start of the season, he has missed all six of Liverpool’s matches across both League and Champions League but has however featured for Brazil in that time span. Will defeat to Manchester City last Saturday finally be enough to see him bought back into the fold.
Sevilla have started their La Liga campaign promisingly under new manager Eduardo Berizzo. They currently find themselves lying in third place. Just two points behind both Barcelona and Real Sociedad, their only dropped points of the season came at the hands of Espanyol on the opening weekend of the season.
Saturday saw them make light work of Eibar at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. They strolled to an easy 3-0 win to set themselves up nicely for a return to face familiar foes Liverpool. Former Manchester City man Nolito was on hand to score one and make one against the club from the Basque Region.
Sevilla reached the group stages after being pushed all the way by competition debutants Istanbul Baseksehir in the Play-Off round. The Turkish side would however fall short of making it all the way to the promised land after losing 4-3 on aggregate.
Who will reach the promised land of all three points this evening, Liverpool have looked better at home than they have away but that said even Hoffenheim caused them trouble here last month. I think home advantage and a willingness to put Saturday behind them might just give them the edge.
Here is what social media thinks will happen
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 12, 2017