Liverpool just need to avoid defeat to put themselves in a strong position to top their Champions League group when they travel to face second-placed Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan on Tuesday (19:45 GMT, live on BT Sport).
Sevilla seemed to have gained an important upper hand in the group when they came back to draw 2-2 when these two sides met at Anfield in September. However Liverpool were able to take a point away from their trip to Spartak Moscow, while Sevilla collapsed to a 1-5 defeat there.
With both sides having won their other two fixtures to date, Liverpool therefore have a point advantage with two rounds of fixtures to go. A draw here would mean that victory at home to Spartak on the final matchday would be sufficient to see them go through as the group winners and hopefully result in an easier draw in the round of 16.
It is an achievable target. Liverpool’s away form has not been particularly good so far this season, as a record of four wins in 10 matches in all competitions attests, but they have still managed to take at least a point in 70% of their road games to date. They have, however, lost each of their last three away matches against Spanish opposition in European competition.
Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to the south of Spain on the back of a convincing 3-0 win at home to Southampton on Saturday. A double from Mohamed Salah and a further strike from Philippe Coutinho had the match wrapped up with 20 minutes still to play, allowing Klopp the luxury of giving Coutinho and Sadio Mane a bit of rest ahead of this match.
It was a third consecutive league victory for the Reds and a result that saw them remain fifth in the Premier League table, 12 points off leaders Manchester City but very much part of the pack behind who will compete for a top-four finish. While certain defensive deficiencies remain, with Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino up front and Coutinho moving forward from midfield, they have enough firepower to remain in the upper reaches of the table.
Liverpool’s forward line will certainly be worrying Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo in the build-up to this match. The Reds created plenty of chances during the first half of the encounter at Anfield and should really have put the game to bed prior to Sevilla’s second-half comeback. Liverpool’s speed in attack, particularly that of the now very much in-form Salah, caused problems for a Sevilla defensive unit that seriously lacks outright pace.
Like Liverpool, Sevilla finished fourth in their league last season. They are, however, yet to fully convince this time around. Berizzo has encountered some problems in adjusting the squad to his more direct style of play, while his regular rotation has made it difficult for his side to establish much of a rhythm. Results were good early on, they are well-placed domestically and in Europe but performances haven’t yet matched their points haul.
Goals from Luis Muriel and Nolito saw Sevilla reverse an early deficit to win 2-1 at home to Berizzo’s former club Celta Vigo on Saturday. The goal provided an important confidence boost for Muriel, whose erratic finishing has seen him score just three goals since his €20 million summer move from Sampdoria. The victory extended Sevilla’s unbeaten run on home soil to 26 matches in all competitions, including seven straight victories.
The result was, however, a tad misleading. Celta Vigo created a number of high-quality chances and were somewhat unfortunate not to come away with at least a point. If Liverpool were looking for some encouragement that they will be able to get on the scoresheet in the Sanchez Pizjuan, they would certainly have found it on Saturday.
So despite Sevilla’s strong home record and Liverpool’s patchy away form so far this season, it feels like Klopp’s side have the tools to come away with not just the point they need to maintain a position of strength at the top of the group but to potentially take all three and secure their passage as group winners.
Our Preview’s Sevilla v Liverpool Betting Tips Verdict
- Back Liverpool to win on the draw no bet market @ evens with Unibet.
- Bet on Mohamed Salah to score at anytime @ best odds of 2/1, also with Unibet.
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