Liverpool had the perfect opportunity in which to qualify for the Round of 16 back in Matchday 5, not only that but it was an opportunity which would have seen them top the group. They surged into a 3-0 lead against Sevilla but there was nothing short of a capitulation after the restart as the Spanish side managed to earn a dramatic point with a a late equaliser.
Luckily though for Liverpool they get to do it all over again this evening when they play host to Spartak Moscow, to win the group they just have to make sure that they match Sevilla’s result. Should they not it could be time to get the calculators out.
The permutations are as follows, if Spartak Moscow beat Liverpool then they will have a better head to head record than Liverpool and they would then go above them in the group. If that is the case and Sevilla win then Liverpool would have to make do with a place in the Europa League.
If Spartak Moscow and Sevilla only draw with Maribor then we would see all three teams tied on nine points and then it gets even more twitchy as there would be a three way head to head record. If that is the case then to be honest your guess is as good as mine.
Liverpool will come into this game full of confidence though and with their tails most suitably up after winning handsomely at the weekend. They made the long journey to Brighton and turned in a five star performance against Chris Hughton’s men.
The speed in which they started their counter attacks was almost frightening and was no more evident when Glenn Murray missed a guilt edged chance at on end only to then see Roberto Firmino go straight down the other end and extend the Merseysiders’ lead.
It may not be counter attacking skills on display this evening but they will certainly look to hit Spartak Moscow on the front foot. For the Russian’s it is quite simply win or bust and Spartak Moscow manager Massimo Carrera will now have to decide whether to stick or twist.
If they stick then they may well find themselves being hit by Liverpool early on if they twist then they could well be picked apart for the same reasons. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t but for a neutral it should at least make for an interesting evening.
We are denied a clean sweep of English teams finishing top of the group after Chelsea finished second in theirs but we could still get four out five. Not only that but Liverpool will want to top their group to in theory be given an easier draw for the Round of 16. I think this one will end up in a home win and job finally done for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 6, 2017