Maribor vs Liverpool preview, betting tips and prediction: Reds need win to get campaign on track
Liverpool to win by two goals @ 3/1 with Bet365
Draw HT/Liverpool FT @ 11/4 with Bet365
Liverpool to win 2-0 @ 11/2 with Bet365
If the pressure wasn’t already on Jurgen Klopp with just one win on eight games, failing to beat Maribor for their first victory in the Champions League would pile it on much further. Liverpool must take advantage of their double-header with the group’s minnows in order to assert their dominance over leaders Sevilla.
Individually, their first two results have not been too bad. Sevilla have shown over a long period just how dangerous they can be, and a draw in Russia with Spartak Moscow is not too bad taking the conditions into account. But domestic form has eluded them, so the outlook is gloomy at best. Maribor took a point from Spartak too, but there should be absolutely no excuses for Klopp’s men not to show their attacking quality.
The hosts will look to use set pieces to get a foothold in the game, which seems like a good plan considering Liverpool’s awful record with defending them. If they can stretch the play and put the Reds on the back foot, they can frustrate, just as others have. Liverpool are struggling in attack and they may not run away with this game, but winning by two clear goals seems like it could pay off at 3/1 given the right stake; a more specific bet, such as 2-0 or a second half victory at 11/2 and 11/4 respectively could bare fruit also.
Whether Klopp goes with Roberto Firmino or Daniel Sturridge up front could also impact the away side’s approach. The Brazilian would pull defenders out of position a lot more by dropping off, whereas Sturridge would run in behind to latch onto through balls from the likes of Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool will struggle in the wide areas with Sadio Mane set to miss out with injury.
Key battle: Valon Ahmedi vs Jordan Henderson
As far as Maribor’s threat goes, Valon Ahmedi is going to crucial. He is a talented attacking midfielder with great control and skill, who can create chances if given space. If Maribor are brave, they will push up on Liverpool’s midfield and Henderson in particular.
Since coming into the team, he has scored seven goals in just 14 games, a great record. Henderson will play high up the pitch, but he cannot be complacent with this talent on the opposing side.