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Red Star Belgrade v Liverpool

Guinean midfielder Naby Keita completed his move to Liverpool for £48m in the summer

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TEAM NEWS

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita returns to the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League match at Red Star Belgrade having missed five games with a hamstring injury.

Defender Dejan Lovren is also fit again, having missed last weekend’s game against Arsenal.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Jordan Henderson and Nathaniel Clyne are not included.

Shaqiri is left behind in order to “avoid any distractions” that may be caused by his Albanian heritage.

The 27-year-old is an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, where a Serb crackdown on the Albanian population ended with Nato military intervention in 1999.

Fellow midfielder Henderson will work at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground as he recovers from a hamstring issue, although he is expected to be fit for Sunday’s Premier League home game against Fulham, and full-back Clyne is ill.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “We will take pretty much everyone. Clyney is ill and will not be involved, but Dejan and Naby are back in the travelling squad.

“Hendo was close, but not close enough. He needs two proper sessions for his fitness, which he will get at Melwood, with Shaqiri and hopefully Clyney if he is back from illness. They both should be fine for the weekend.”

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Red Star Belgrade have won two of their three games against Liverpool in European competition, however did lose the most recent meeting (0-4 at Anfield).
  • This will be Liverpool’s first away game against Red Star Belgrade in European competition since October 1973, when they lost 2-1 in the first leg of a last-16 tie in the European Cup.

Red Star Belgrade

  • Red Star Belgrade are without a win in their past five games in European competition (D3 L2), conceding 10 goals in losing the past two (1-6 v Paris St-Germain and 0-4 v Liverpool).
  • They have suffered just one defeat in their past 14 home games in European competition (W7 D6).
  • Red Star Belgrade have conceded just five goals in their past 14 home games in European competition, keeping nine clean sheets in this run.
  • They have, however, conceded the most goals (10), faced the most shots (75) and most shots on target (36) of any team in the Champions League this season.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool have lost one of their past 11 Champions League group-stage games (W5 D5), scoring 33 goals during this run (an average of three per game).
  • They have scored 48 goals in the Champions League since the start of last season (16 games), the most of any team in the competition during that time.
  • Since the start of last season, Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has been involved in 19 goals in the Champions League (12 goals and seven assists); the most of any player in the competition.
  • Sadio Mane has scored 11 goals in his past 12 appearances for Liverpool in the Champions League, with the most recent of those coming against Red Star Belgrade in a 4-0 win on 24 October.

Article credit: https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/46087243

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