In Liverpool’s group it is a case of as you were as both they and their opponents this evening Spartak drew in their opening Champions League fixture of this season. Just how will Jurgen Klopp‘s mission to Moscow pan out in the Russian capital later this evening.
One thing that is for sure is the fact that the mood will be good in the Liverpool camp after their first win of this month last weekend after a run of four games which warranted them two draws and two defeats they finally got off the mark in September with a 3-2 win over Leicester.
Simon Mignolet may eventually have been considered the hero on Saturday after his penalty save from Jamie Vardy but he did not have the best of games after clattering the England international in the area and also making a meal of Leicester’s first of the evening.
To say he has been dropped would be perhaps a little harsh but due to Jurgen Klopp’s current goalkeeping rotation policy it is Loris Karius who comes into the starting eleven this evening along with Sadio Mane who returns after his three match domestic ban comes to a conclusion.
Liverpool had to make do with a share of the points at home to Sevilla in the opening matchday a result which arguably in the grand scheme of things does not make all that much difference as you would expect these two sides to top the group.
But it is tonight where they will have to make sure they can come away with at least a point. Failure to win may well decrease their chances of finishing first but to leave Russia empty handed will make qualification to the Round of 16 that little bit more difficult.
Of course that is not to say that it would be impossible but it would mean that they would require all six points against Maribor and then positive results against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow in the return outings, so the message will ultimately be do not return to Merseyside empty handed.
Former Liverpool target Quincy Promes is Spartak’s key man this season with 6 Russian Premier League goals to his name, although it has been a relatively sluggish start to Spartak’s defence of the title as they currently find themselves lying some 13 points leaders Zenit as they sit 8th in the table.
They will hope that their fortunes are somewhat better this evening against Liverpool although the last time these two met in the Champions League Group Stages was back in the 2012/13 season and the Russians were on the losing side both times.
You don’t know if Spartak are going to try and raise their game tonight with domestic honours all but written off already, I have a feeling that could be the case and that coupled with Liverpool’s continued defensive insecurities means I think this one will end up being a draw for Liverpool. Not the worst result for them mind you but it will leave Group E pretty tight.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
And how will Liverpool's mission to #SpartakMoscow go?
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 25, 2017