Genk vs LiverpoolUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Oct 23, 2019, Luminus Arena
DEFENDING champions Liverpool were given a bit of a scare by RB Salzburg on Matchday 2 but have the perfect opportunity to end a run of four successive away defeats in the group stages when they visit Genk on Wednesday night.
The Reds' perfect start to the Premier League season was ended by a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday but they should have fewer problems in Belgium against a Genk side who's form has dipped of late.
The Belgian champions have made a sluggish start to the season and currently lie sixth in the table, nine points off the pace which is set by Club Brugge. They've won just one of their last four matches and just three of their last nine – hardly the kind of form you want to be going in to a match against one of the in-form teams on the continent.
After just two matches “The Smurfs” find themselves bottom of Group E despite a creditable 0-0 draw with Napoli last time out. They were blown away by RB Salzburg (6-2) on Matchday 1 and Liverpool will be aiming for a similar result to assert their authority in the group at the half-way stage of this round.
Reds Rout on the Cards
And there's plenty of reason to side with a comfortable win for the Reds in the Luminus Arena. Klopp's men may be winless in four away group matches but their last victory at this stage of the competition was a 7-0 win in Maribor and things could get equally messy for Genk if Salah (who is set to return from injury), Mane and Firminho are in the mood.
Genk were put to the sword by Salzburg in that 6-2 defeat when the Austrians looked like scoring every time they ventured in to the Belgians' half, racking up an eye-watering 26 attempts at goal, despite enjoying just 46% of the ball. Even in the 0-0 draw with Napoli the woodwork saved the hosts on three occassions. Domestically, Genk have kept just two clean sheets in 11 league matches, conceding 15 so far so there's defintely goals in this for Liverpool.
I expect Liverpool will dominate all aspects of the game and the Player Shots and Player Shots on Target could be profitable. A look at the stats on Infogoal.com show that Liverpool's front three have the following strikerate so far this season;
So Salah (1.4 shots on target per start) is just ahead of Mane (1.3) and Firminho (1.2) but in the betting on Bet365 he's much the shorter price at 4/7 versus 4/5 and 5/6 respectively to have Over 1.5 shots on target in the match. So the value is to be had in either Mane or Firminho. It's the toss of a coin stuff, and there's no reason why both won't land this kind of bet, but to stick my neck I'm opting for Firminho who has a slightly better shots-on-target per game ratio than Mane over the past two Champions League campaigns.
As for the match itself I can't see anyhing other than a comfortable away win. PSG crushed Belgian leaders Club Brugge 5-0 last night which is a good barometer ahead of this one. Liverpool are due a big away win in Europe and tonight could be the night.
This UEFA Champions League match between Genk and Liverpool will be played on Oct 23, 2019 and kick off at 20:00