LIVERPOOL VS RUBIN KAZAN PREVIEW: KLOPP OPTIMISTIC AHEAD OF HOME DEBUT
Newly appointed Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will finally make his Anfield debut on Thursday, when the Reds will host Russian club Rubin Kazan in their third game of the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League. With two draws from two games, Liverpool currently sit at the second position in Group B, which also features FC Sion and Bordeaux. However, with a single point, Rubin Kazan sit at the bottom of the group table.
Klopp optimistic about Liverpool’s chances
Speaking to reporters in the pre-match conference on Wednesday, Klopp sounded confident about Liverpool’s chances of victory tomorrow. “We will try to make problems for Rubin Kazan”, said Klopp on his opponents. With several key players fit for tomorrow’s fixture, Klopp confidently declared that ‘we are the bigger challenge for them’.
Klopp also announced that Liverpool trio Firmino, Benteke and Lovren were back in training because of which he expected to use more options in the game compared to his debut fixture against Tottenham. However, the manager indicated that the trio would not be started and would instead be used as substitutes if necessary. Thus, it’s possible that Klopp will retain much of the squad that played against Tottenham on Saturday. Yet, the fixture will see the omission of Daniel Sturridge from the squad with the Premier League fixture against Southampton in mind.
‘Youngs players are our future’
Klopp criticized the handling of youngster Jordan Rossiter by the England U-19 management, which fielded the younger 3 times within 5 days. Klopp blamed the U-19 management for the hamstring injury Rossiter suffered, reminding that promising players like him shouldn’t be given excessive pressure as they were the future of the club. Rossiter had featured in both the previous Europa League 2015/16 fixtures. The manager also emphasized that although he preferred the team to be ready enough to run 150km in every game, it wouldn’t necessarily be used against every opponent. He reminded fans to put rational expectation and not to expect ‘4 goals within 3 opening minutes’.
Rubin Kazan will be Liverpool’s newest opponents on Thursday. Rubin Kazan is a Russian top flight club based in the city of Kazan, which is located in the central region of Russia known as Tatarstan. Kazan qualified for the Europa League after finishing in fifth position at the expense of Dynamo Moscow, who were banned from participating in European competition despite finishing fifth in the league, after being found guilty of breaching the UEFA FFP rules.
Rubin Kazan haven’t been playing particularly well this season, as they are currently sitting at the 12th position in the Russian Premier League with just 10 points off 12 games, with only 3 victories. After a string of poor results, the club sacked their previous manager Rinat Bilyaletdinov in September, putting the assistant-manager Valeriy Chaly in his place.