In Review

Champions League: KRC Genk vs. Liverpool preview, predictions, team news, TV and live stream details

‘Egyptian king’ will hope to help end the Anfield side’s dismal away form

KRC Genk vs. Liverpool

After missing last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United Mohamed Salah is back in contention for Liverpool’s trip to Belgium. 

The Champions League holders face Genk in group E on Wednesday night and Egyptian striker Salah joined the travelling party after training at Melwood on Tuesday. 

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp told liverpoolfc.com: “It’s absolutely good to have him back. The squad is cool, it’s a good squad, everything is OK, but that’s all.”

Klopp also confirmed that right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold (virus) and centre-half Joel Matip (knee) will miss the match. 

“Trent is ill and Joel is not ready,” said Klopp. “It is just a little thing which usually settles in the two weeks [Matip] had; it did, but then it came up after the United game and so now we just have to make sure this time it settles finally, that’s all. 

“It is not a massive injury, it’s just a bit annoying for him and he cannot do it [face Genk].

“Trent got ill overnight; hopefully he can recover quickly, but [for Wednesday] there was no chance.”

Dismal away form

Liverpool battled to beat Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 on matchday two, but Klopp’s side will be looking to improve their away record when they travel to Genk. 

Currently third in group E, the Reds have only won two of their previous eight away matches in the Champions League, excluding the final in June that was played at a neutral ground.

Former striker John Aldridge said in the Liverpool Echo: “With the exception of Bayern Munich and Porto, we know that Liverpool’s away form in the Champions League has been dismal. 

“Last season we lost all three group games away against Napoli, Red Star and Paris St Germain and then there was the semi-final first leg in Barcelona.

“There comes a point in which we’ve got to try and stop that if we want to retain the European Cup. We got away with it last year and with the exception of the Camp Nou, got better as the tournament went on. 

“Genk is an opportunity to show that we can do well away from home.”

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TV and live stream details

The group E clash will be live on BT Sport 2. Coverage starts at 7pm and the match kicks off at 8pm. The broadcaster will also show a live stream of the game at sport.bt.com.

Red Bull Salzburg host Napoli in the other group E fixture (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 2).

Team news and starting XIs

KRC Genk team news

The Belgian team will be without goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and left-back Neto Borges because of injury.

Liverpool team news

If Mohamed Salah is not fit enough to start the game then Divock Origi will continue to deputise in attack alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Adam Lallana, who scored Liverpool’s equaliser at Old Trafford, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will push for a place in the starting XI.

Right-back Nathaniel Clyne remains on the sidelines with a knee issue while Xherdan Shaqiri has returned to Switzerland for treatment on a calf injury. 

Defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip also miss out.

How the teams could line up according to Uefa.com 
  • Genk possible starting XI: Coucke; Mæhle, Lucumí, Dewaest, Uronen; Heynen, Hagi, Berge; Ito, Samatta, Bongonda  
  • Out: Vukovic (achilles), Neto Borges (foot)
  • Liverpool possible starting XI: Alisson Becker; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Origi 
  • Out: Alexander-Arnold (virus), Clyne (knee), Matip (knee), Shaqiri (calf)
  • Doubtful: Salah (ankle)

Pundit predictions 

Ewan Murray, 90min: Genk 0 Liverpool 3

“Liverpool will be looking to bounce back in style following their draw at Old Trafford, and they will come into this game as strong favourites. The Reds will be hoping that Salah returns to action with his potential inclusion being pivotal.​ Genk will be buoyed by their 0-0 draw against Napoli at home in their last Champions League game, but they may just be overpowered by a Liverpool side who save their best performances for Europe.”

Mohamed Moallim, Squawka: Genk 0 Liverpool 2

“Liverpool’s recent form on the road is not befitting of Europe’s best. Klopp’s men - not counting the last two Champions League finals as they were played on neutral ground - have won just two of their last eight matches on the road and losing in the other six. This will no doubt be music to Genk’s ears but there’s no getting away from the gap in quality between the sides. Expect three more points to the Reds.”

Barney Corkhill, SportsMole: Genk 0 Liverpool 3 

“Genk may have a solid home record in Europe recently, but their goal lived a charmed life in the draw with Napoli and Liverpool’s attack looks well equipped to break down their defence. It has been a while since the Reds claimed an away group-stage win in this competition, but we are backing them to do exactly that here, and in quite comfortable fashion too.”

The Stats Zone: Liverpool to win

“Liverpool responded to their loss on matchday one by edging out Salzburg in a thriller last time out. They now head to Belgium to face a Genk side without a win in their last eight Champions League games and despite holding Napoli to a draw last time, the reigning champions should be too good.”

Charlie Nicholas, Sky Sports: Genk 1 Liverpool 2 

“Liverpool are vulnerable at the back. If the opposition can squeeze the full-backs, Liverpool cannot get the service into the front men and it is easier to predict and defend - it does not have the same effect. Do Genk defend as if it is an away game? A lack of experience will cost them in this one.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Get your first six issues for £6–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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