Patrick Gillen (@PatrickGillen94) previews Genk vs Liverpool and provides us with his best bets for Wednesday’s Champions League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Genk v Liverpool Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 23/10/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Luminus Arena
- Channel: BT Sport 2
Six-time champions Liverpool will attempt to end their poor away form in the Champions League group stages as they travel to Belgium to face Genk, a side who currently sit bottom of Group E.
The Reds, despite winning the Champions League last season, incredibly lost all three group games away from Anfield and, after losing 2-0 in Naples on matchday 1, will be seeking an easier passage to the knockout stages this time out.
Klopp’s side will also be looking for a reaction performance-wise after a lacklustre display at Old Trafford meant that Liverpool dropped points for the first time in the Premier League this season, as Adam Lallana’s second half equaliser rescued a point against a struggling Manchester United side.
Genk have struggled for form in the league this season, losing four out of their opening 10 league matches, including a 1-0 defeat by Standard Liege on Saturday, but manager Felice Mazzu will be encouraged by his side’s 0-0 draw at home to Napoli in their last Champions League outing.
Liverpool survived a scare from Red Bull Salzburg last time out, having seen their 3-0 lead disappear after an inspired comeback from the Austrian side, before Mohammed Salah struck the all important winner in front of a very relieved Anfield.
Despite ultimately winning that match, it showcased Liverpool’s potential defensive vulnerability and now means that the European Champions have conceded five goals in their last two games, something Jurgen Klopp will be looking to address as soon as possible.
The home side will be missing goalkeeper Danny Vukovic (Achilles) and defender Neto Borges (foot).
The primary concern for Liverpool is the fitness of talisman Mohammed Salah, who missed Sunday’s clash with Manchester United with an ankle injury that he sustained in the 2-1 win over Leicester City.
Xherdan Shaqiri is also a doubt.
Potential Genk Starting XI: Coucke, Maehle, Cuesta, Lucumi, Uronen, Berge, Heynen, Ito, Hagi, Bongonda, Samatta.
Potential Liverpool Starting XI: Alisson, Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mané, Firmino, Origi.
Key Stats & Facts
- Liverpool forward Divock Origi spent nine years in Genk’s youth system before moving to French side Lille in 2010.
- Genk’s 0-0 home draw against Napoli was only the second time in 32 European encounters that the Belgian side have failed to score a goal.
- Including qualifiers, Genk have gone six matches unbeaten in the competition when playing at home.
- Genk have lost only one out of 17 home matches in European competition.
- The last time Liverpool won in the Champions League away from home was in 2017, with Klopp’s side hammering Slovenian side Maribor 7-0.
- Genk – 17/2
- Draw – 5/1
- Liverpool – 2/7
This is a game Liverpool are expected to win, and rightly so, but a lot could depend on the fitness of Mo Salah.
Without the looming threat of the Egyptian on Sunday, Manchester United were able to confidently press higher to negate the attacking threat normally shown by Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold in wide areas.
It also meant that danger man Sadio Mane was more shackled by United’s defence, giving him less room to operate and rendering him less effective throughout the match.
Genk will naturally be looking to shut-out Liverpool using a deep defensive block, as they did against Napoli with only 37% possession, but will need to provide a threat going forward if they are to get anything from the game.
With Liverpool’s defence looking suspect so far in the competition, coupled with Genk’s usual ability of scoring goals at home, Liverpool to win but both teams to score could be tempting at 6/4.
Should Liverpool play to their maximum, though, then it could be a long night for the Belgians, who have already been on the end of a 6-2 hammering on matchday 1.
For this reason, it may be wise to also back Liverpool with a handicap of -2, which can be found at 7/4.