Liverpool vs Red Star Belgrade: Surprise squad omission on the cards

Xherdan Shaqiri Sadio Mane Liverpool 2018-19

Xherdan Shaqiri Sadio Mane Liverpool 2018-19More

Liverpool have scored 48 goals in the Champions League since the start of last season (16 games), the most of any team in the competition.

Charlie Nicholas is backing Liverpool FC to ease to a 2-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Liverpool have left Swiss worldwide Xherdan Shaqiri out of the squad for Tuesday's Champions League tie at Red Star Belgrade, saying they were uncertain over what sort of reception he would receive in the Serbian capital.

The English club has now lost both of its away games in the group stage, having been beaten 1-0 at Napoli last month, and its fearsome attacking unit again lacked a cutting edge in Belgrade against an opponent Liverpool thrashed 4-0 two weeks ago at Anfield.

"We are here to play football", Klopp told a news conference on Monday ahead of the Group C game. They saw the game tonight probably and will think: "'OK, this team has weaknesses.' We have to make sure we don't have them on Sunday". So they could score that one and, out of the blue more or less, they scored the second one.

"They were on their bikes and we had to deal with the situation".

Nevertheless, Milner was frustrated by Liverpool's failure in front of goal.

Adam Lallana nearly got Liverpool back in the game moments later but his header was deflected just wide, and Sturridge then fired wide from just inside the box.

The tensions date back to the Balkan War, where Serbian forces initiated a conflict against ethnic minorities across Yugoslavia; Shaqiri himself was born in Kosovo.

Red Star are expected to be without Vujadin Savic due to injury but Marko Marin is set to return to the squad.

Klopp's men dominated possession but were largely restricted to efforts from range as Milan Borjan turned Mohamed Salah's shot wide before the Egyptian struck the outside of the post from the resulting corner.

Salah and Van Dijk then wasted late chances, as Red Star dug deep to open the door to Napoli or PSG in the hunt for first place.

The last thing Klopp would want to do is find his side in the Europa League after a start to the domestic season that has left his side just two points behind leaders Manchester City and undefeated after 11 games.

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