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Football | Champions League

Big Match Feature: Liverpool v Sevilla



Liverpool face a tough return to the Uefa Champions League as they take on Sevilla– who beat the Reds in the 2015/16 Uefa Europa League final.

While Liverpool are in the group stage for the first time since 2014/15 – and just the second time in eight seasons – Sevilla are in the last 32 for the third campaign running and looking to build on last term's progress to the round of 16.

Previous Meetings

The clubs' sole past encounter came in Basle in May 2016, when Sevilla came from a goal down to become the first team to win the Uefa Europa League – and its Uefa Cup forerunner – for a third successive season. Initially it looked like being Liverpool's night when Daniel Sturridge fired them into a 35th-minute lead, but Kévin Gameiro levelled 17 seconds into the second period and two Coke goals (64, 70) gave Sevilla a fifth triumph in the competition.

The line-ups at St. Jakob-Park on 18 May 2016 were:

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Touré (Benteke 82), Lovren, Moreno, Milner, Can, Lallana (Allen 73), Coutinho, Firmino (Origi 69), Sturridge.

Sevilla: Soria, Rami (Kolodziejczak 78), Escudero, Ferreira, Carriço, Krychowiak, N'Zonzi, Banega (Cristóforo 90+3), Coke, Vitolo, Gameiro (Iborra 89).

Match Background

Liverpool

Five-time European champions Liverpool did not take part in Uefa competition in 2016/17, when they finished fourth in the Premier League. They are aiming to reach the Uefa Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2008/09.

The Reds earned their place in the group stage – for the tenth time overall – with a 6-3 aggregate play-off victory over TSG Hoffenheim 1899, winning 2-1 away and 4-2 at home. • The last six European games at Anfield have ended in a home win. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last ten European home matches, since a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid CF on 22 October 2014.

The Merseysiders have won three of the last four visits by Spanish sides to Anfield, the sole exception being that Real Madrid defeat.

Overall their record against Spanish Liga clubs is W14 D10 L11; at home, it is W5 D6 L5.

Sevilla

Sevilla's interest in last season's Uefa Champions League was curtailed in England, a 2-0 reversal at Leicester City FC in their round of 16 second leg completing a 3-2 aggregate loss.

That marked a third straight defeat away to Premier League opposition for Sevilla, who have never won in five trips to England (D2 L3).

Last term, Sevilla made it to the round of 16 for the first time since 2009/10 – but they have never gone further in the Uefa Champions League era. This is their fifth group stage campaign and their third in a row.

Sevilla qualified by finishing fourth in the 2016/17 Spanish Liga. They beat Turkey's Istanbul Basaksehir in August's play-offs, winning the away first leg 2-1 before a 2-2 draw in southern Spain. • The 2-0 loss at Leicester is Sevilla's sole defeat in their last eight away matches in Uefa competition (W3 D4).

Coach and Player Links

Alberto Moreno came through the ranks at home-town club Sevilla, making 62 first-team outings before joining Liverpool in 2014.

Daniel Carriço played in England with Reading FC in 2013; one of his three appearances came in a 0-0 home draw with Liverpool in April 2013.

Steven N'Zonzi played in England from 2009 to 2015, with Blackburn Rovers FC and then Stoke City FC. His record in 11 meetings with Liverpool was W2 D3 L6, although he scored in his most recent encounter – a 6-1 win for Stoke on 24 May 2015.

Nolito bagged four goals in 19 Premier League games for Manchester City FC in 2016/17.

Jesús Navas was a Manchester City player between 2013 and 2017, with the record W2 D1 L4 against Liverpool. He played in the team that beat the Reds on penalties in the 2016 League Cup final.

Philippe Coutinho had a loan spell with RCD Espanyol in 2012, scoring in a 1-1 draw with Sevilla in his final match on 13 May 2012.

Match Facts

Liverpool

Liverpool lost 5-0 at Manchester City FC on Saturday, the Reds' worst defeat since a 6-1 loss to Stoke City FC on the last day of 2014/15. Sadio Mané was sent off on 37 minutes.

Defeat ended a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W7 D2), dating back to a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace FC on 23 April.

Mohamed Salah has scored three goals in his first six appearances for the Reds and continued his early-season form with the winner for Egypt at home to Uganda in Fifa World Cup qualifying on 5 September.

On the same day, Mané found the net in Senegal's 2-2 draw against Burkina Faso. Mané has struck in three of Liverpool's four league matches this term.

Making his first appearance of the season following a back injury, Coutinho was on target as Brazil defeated Ecuador 2-0 on 31 August.

Andy Robertson registered his second international goal as Scotland prevailed 3-0 in Lithuania in the European Qualifiers for the World Cup.

Ben Woodburn, 17, scored the winner against Austria (1-0) on his senior debut for Wales and set up the opening goal in the 2-0 victory over Moldova three days later.

Sevilla

Wissam Ben Yedder has scored three goals in his last four games.

Summer loan signing Nolito scored his first goal of 2017 in Saturday's 3-0 victory over SD Eibar.

Sevilla drew 1-1 with RCD Espanyol in their first Liga match of the season before wins against Getafe CF (1-0) and Eibar.

Éver Banega was sent off against Espanyol in his first game back for Sevilla since rejoining from FC Internazionale Milano, ruling him out of the trip to Getafe and the weekend encounter with SD Eibar.

David Soria was substituted early on versus Espanyol with an injured hand and is a doubt to face Liverpool.

Head Coach

Jürgen Klopp

Date of birth: 16 June 1967

Nationality: German

Playing career: SV Glatten, TuS Ergenzingen, 1. FC Pforzheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, Viktoria Sindlingen, Rot-Weiss Frankfurt, 1. FSV Mainz 05

Coaching career: 1. FSV Mainz 05, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool FC

Having spent his early career in the lower leagues and failed to break into Eintracht's first team, Klopp turned professional with Mainz, starting off as a striker before becoming a no-nonsense defender. Never played in the top flight but made 325 second-division appearances from 1990 to 2001, setting a club record by scoring 52 goals.

'Kloppo', as he is known in Germany, was appointed Mainz's caretaker coach on 28 February 2001, helping the club avoid relegation to the third tier. Duly won a permanent contract and built Mainz into one of the strongest clubs in the 2. Bundesliga; narrowly missed out on promotion in 2002 and 2003 before finally taking Mainz into the top flight for the first time in 2004 and kept them in the Bundesliga until 2007, taking them into the 2005/06 Uefa Cup via the Uefa Fair Play ranking.

After another promotion near-miss in 2007/08 Klopp – whose enthusiasm and passion, plus work as a TV pundit, have made him popular all over Germany – left for Dortmund. Took them to sixth in his first season, led them into the Uefa Europa League the next year and then, with a squad full of exciting young talent, oversaw league title wins in 2010/11 and 2011/12, adding the German Cup in the latter campaign.

Earned even greater admiration in 2012/13 as he steered Dortmund all the way to the Uefa Champions League final at Wembley, where they lost to FC Bayern München. Dortmund reached another domestic cup final in 2014, but again came up short against Bayern.

Announced in April 2015 he was leaving Dortmund after that season, which ended with a cup final defeat against VfL Wolfsburg. Succeeded Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager in October 2015 and took the team to the finals of the English League Cup and Uefa Europa League – helped by a quarterfinal defeat of Dortmund – in his first season.

Lost both, but earned a place in the 2017/18 Uefa Champions League by finishing fourth in the Premier League in May 2017.

Eduardo Berizzo

Date of birth: 13 November 1969

Nationality: Argentinian

Playing career: Newell's Old Boys, Club Atlas, CA River Plate (twice), Olympique de Marseille, RC Celta de Vigo, Cádiz CF

Coaching career: Chile (assistant), Estudiantes LP, O'Higgins FC, RC Celta de Vigo, Sevilla FC

Known as 'El Toto', Berizzo came through the ranks at local side Newell's Old Boys, enjoying early success in winning league titles in 1991 and 1992. Spells in Mexico with Atlas and back in Argentina with River Plate came next before a first foray into European football with Marseille in 1999, followed by a switch to Celta.

Saw out his career in Spain with Cadíz, also winning 17 caps with Argentina and featuring in the Copa América squad in 1997 and 1999.

Got his first taste of coaching alongside his old Newell's mentor Marcelo Bielsa, with the Chile national team, reaching the last 16 of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Berizzo became head coach of Argentina's Estudiantes in 2011 but had greater success in his next job with Chilean side O'Higgins, who he lead to a first ever league title in 2013.

Selected to succeed Luis Enrique at Celta the following year and enjoyed a surprise victory against his predecessor when the Galicians beat Barcelona 1-0 at the Camp Nou, the first of three famous wins against Barça in his three-year tenure at the Balaídos.

In Berizzo's second season, Celta finished sixth in the Liga which meant Uefa Europa League qualification, the club's first taste of European football for a decade. Their return was a great success, reaching the semifinals of a European competition for the first time before narrowly going out to eventual winners Manchester United. Celta also reached the semifinals of the Copa del Rey in 2016 and 2017, with Berizzo stepping down in summer 2017 to succeed compatriot Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla.



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