KRC Genk v Liverpool Preview - Reds must banish away-day Champions League blues in Belgium

KRC Genk v Liverpool Preview - Reds must banish away-day Champions League blues in Belgium

The Details

 Champions League

Venue – Luminus Arena, Genk, Belgium

Referee – Slavko Vincic (SVN)

Date & Time – Wednesday, October 23rd 2019 @ 20:00

Current Odds – Genk 17/2, Draw 5/1, Liverpool 2/7

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It’s been just over two years now since Liverpool won an away game in the group stages of the Champions League. On October 17th, 2017, Jurgen Klopp’s side demolished Maribor 7-0 in Slovenia.

Incredibly, Liverpool lost all three of their group games on foreign soil last season, before going on to eventually lift their sixth European Cup. Klopp won’t want to have to do go through such a difficult slog again, though.

Having lost 2-0 in Naples already, Liverpool must do enough to take all three points in Belgium this week.

Form

Genk Form

Genk lost 1-0 away to title-rivals Standard Liege on Saturday in Belgium. That defeat sees Felice Mazzu’s club now lying in sixth place in the league table.

They won the Belgian title by seven points last season but Genk have already lost four of their opening 10 games in 2019/20.

In the Champions League, Genk lost 6-2 at Red Bull Salzburg in the first game but then held Napoli to an impressive 0-0 draw at home, last time out.

Liverpool Form

The Reds dropped their first Premier League points of the season against Manchester United on Sunday. They are now six points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table.

Klopp’s side has three points from its opening two Champions League games – losing 2-0 at Napoli and winning 4-3 at home to RB Salzburg.

A win in Belgium would put Liverpool right back in contention to win the group.

Let’s hope that Sunday’s sluggish performance at Old Trafford had a lot to do with the international break. Liverpool need to shake off that rustiness to stake a claim for the three points in Genk.

Team News

Genk Team News

Defender Neto Borges is Genk’s only current injury concern.

Felice Mazzu generally likes to set his team out in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Indeed, that was how they lined up for the 0-0 draw at home to Napoli at the start of the month.

Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta has 6 goals in all competitions so far and will provide the Belgian sides main threat going forward.

Interestingly, attacking midfielder Ianis Hagi is the 20-year-old son of Romanian football legend, Gheorghe Hagi.

Liverpool Team News

Joel Matip, Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri are all carrying knocks and it would be a huge surprise if any of them are risked on Wednesday night.

I think Jurgen Klopp will start some fringe players against Genk. Expect to see Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain play some part.

Divock Origi is likely to get his second start in a row as Salah probably will be rested to ensure a full recovery from his current injury. It will be a nice homecoming for Origi. The striker spent 9 years in Genk’s youth system before signing for French side, Lille, in 2010.

Predicted Lineups

Genk XI (4-2-3-1) – Coucke; Maehle, Cuesta, Lucumi, Uronen; Berge, Heynen; Ito, Hagi, Bongonda; Samatta

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Firmino, Origi

When they last met

Liverpool have never previously played KRC Genk in any competitive fixture.

Prediction

KRC Genk 0 – 2 Liverpool

I expect Liverpool to get back to winning ways on the road in the group stages. Genk have struggled to reach the heights of last season, so far, under Mazzu, who only joined the club in the summer.

They may be in something of a transitional period so Liverpool need to pounce on this opportunity, taking six points from six against Genk in the next two Champions League games.