By 90Min
September 25, 2017

Liverpool travel to the Otkrytie Arena for their first away game in the Champions League group stage. All four sides in Group E are on one point following the opening game so this is a key game for both sides.

Classic Encounter


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The last time that these sides were in the same Champions League group was in the 2002/03 season. Having already beaten the Russians 5-0 at Anfield, Liverpool headed to Moscow needing a win boost their hopes of making the second group stage. 


Having fallen behind to a goal from Alexander Danishevsky, Michael Owen then produced a stunning hat trick to give the Reds a 3-1 win. The win would not be enough to prevent elimination for Liverpool as they were knocked into the UEFA Cup. 

Recent Form


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Spartak have been widely inconsistent in the Russian Premier League so far this season with three wins, four draws and three losses from their opening 10 games. Two bitterly disappointing performances against their city rivals, CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow have been the low points of the season. Their most recent match was a 2-2 draw against Anzhi Makhachkala.

Liverpool currently sit 5th in the Premier League with Jurgen Klopp's men only suffering defeat away from home against Manchester City. They were knocked out of the League Cup by Leicester, but gained revenge on the Foxes in the league meeting on Saturday, winning a pulsating fixture 3-2.

Key Battle

Luiz Adriano v Joel Matip


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Liverpool's much talked about defence was again exposed in two separate fixtures by Leicester City over the last week. 

Joel Matip has been the best of the Liverpool centre backs so far this season, but he will have his work cut out against Luiz Adriano, who has recently arrived in Moscow from AC Milan. Adriano was on target from the penalty spot in the weekend draw against Anzhi Makhachkala. 

Prediction


Both sides will be very keen to get a first win in the group stage. Spartak Moscow's home form is going to be key for them if they are to have any chance of progressing from this wide open group. 

With defences expected to be under the microscope, Liverpool's front 3 could just have too much for the home side

Prediction: Spartak Moscow 1-2 Liverpool

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