Spartak Moscow v Liverpool Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
September 26, 2017
Otkrytiye Arena - Champions League
Drawing at home to Seville was a bad start in Group E for Liverpool but they are likely to have far too much fire-power for an out of sorts and injury-hit Spartak Moscow, who also have one point from an opening draw at Maribor.
The clubs met in 2002 and 1992. The 2002 Champions League meeting saw Liverpool win 5-0 at home and 3-1 away, while in 1992 Spartak won a European Cup Winners’ Cup meeting 4-2 in Moscow and also won the second leg 2-0 on Merseyside.
Spartak’s injury list has been lengthy so far this season. Currently they are missing former Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk man Luiz Adriano, long-term victim Roman Zobnin and on Saturday were without forward Ze Luis, skipper Denis Glushakov and main man Quincy Promes, the Dutch international and top scorer for the last three seasons who has in the past been strongly linked with a move to Anfield. The latter trio are expected to be available but may not be 100%.
Liverpool could start Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Saido Mane for the first time after Coutinho’s Barcelona-related strop and timely back injury. It’s not the USSR anymore but Muscovites might regret the Reds’ Fab Four coming back here.
Spartak Moscow v Liverpool Preview and Predictions
Russian champions Spartak are feeling the pressure of being top dogs and have struggled so far this season. Currently seventh in their table, they haven’t been helped by injuries.
Liverpool’s inability to defend set pieces could come back to haunt them if Spartak can get the ball into striker Ze Luis, providing the 6’4” target man is fit.
Former Sampdoria midfielder Fernando offers Spartak Brazilian know-how to counteract Liverpool’s own Brazilians. Playing deep Fernando could be the man to try and nullify the impact of back in the fold Coutinho.
Spartak coach Massimo Carrera is tactically astute, as you would expect from someone who worked at Juventus with Antonio Conte. He will have spent the week devising a plan to combat Liverpool’s pace in wide positions especially as his full backs, Andrey Yeshchenko and especially left-back Dmitri Kombarov are lumbering hulks who make Chris Gayle look quick between the wickets.
Ultimately though, even if Spartak were at full strength they wouldn’t be expected to beat Liverpool, even allowing for Klopp’s team’s vulnerability at the back. Liverpool’s philosophy is to outscore the opposition and with the Anfield men’s pace against a sluggish defence Liverpool should win comfortably. They are 13/18 for victory with Spartak 22/5. Odds on the draw are 16/5.
Liverpool to win 4-1 at 28/1
Liverpool’s all-out attack could overwhelm Spartak but at the moment Liverpool couldn’t find a clean sheet in a laundry. 3-1 is available at 14/1.
Philippe Coutinho to score first at 15/2
Spartak will concede free-kicks around the box and Coutinho has the technique to punish them.