It is all to play for at Anfield on matchday six when Liverpool FC and FC Spartak Moskva meet with a place in the round of 16 on the line.

• Liverpool lead the way in Group E with nine points, one more than Sevilla FC – who conclude their campaign away to bottom side NK Maribor – and three ahead of Spartak, who drew 1-1 with the Reds in Russia on matchday two.

A draw would therefore be enough for the home team, who will finish first in the section with a win or with a draw if Sevilla fail to win. If Liverpool lose they are out unless Sevilla are also defeated as Liverpool, who let slip a 3-0 half-time lead to draw 3-3 in Spain last time out, would be below Spartak in a two-way head-to-head or would be third in a three-way head-to-head on nine points.

• Spartak will be through with a win or third with any other result. If Spartak win they will finish top unless Sevilla also win.

Previous meetings
• Liverpool had the upper hand when these clubs were paired together in the 2002/03 first group stage, winning 5-0 at home thanks to two goals from Emile Heskey and one each for Bruno Cheyrou, Sami Hyypiä and substitute Salif Diao.

• The line-ups at Anfield on 2 October 2002 were:
Liverpool: Dudek, Henchoz (Traoré 67), Carragher, Hyypiä, Riise, Hamann, Murphy, Gerrard (Diao 76), Cheyrou (Diouf 82), Heskey, Owen.
Spartak: Cherchesov, Kovtun (Abramidze 63), Kebe, Beschastnykh, Kalynychenko, Koudriashov (Marcello Silva 50), Danishevski, Pavlenko, Mitreski, Khlestov (Bezrodny 26), Moisés.

• The English side also prevailed 3-1 in Moscow, recovering from Aleksandr Danishevski’s opener to take the points courtesy of a Michael Owen hat-trick. That matchday four result confirmed Spartak’s elimination – they would lose all six games – while Liverpool also failed to progress after coming third in Group B.

• That was in contrast to the teams’ meeting in the 1992/93 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round, when Spartak advanced 6-2 on aggregate. Valery Karpin struck twice in a 4-2 first-leg home win, before unanswered goals in the last half-hour at Anfield from Dmitri Radchenko and Andrei Piatnitsky sealed Spartak’s progress.

Match background

• That defeat by Spartak – in what was their first encounter with Russian opponents – is Liverpool’s only home loss against a club from that country; their record is W3 D2 L. Most recently they drew 1-1 at home to FC Rubin in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage (also winning 1-0 away). 

• Jürgen Klopp’s side have picked up four points at home in this season’s competition, drawing 2-2 with Sevilla before a 3-0 scalp of Maribor

• Before being held by Sevilla, Liverpool’s previous six European games at Anfield had produced a home win. They are unbeaten in their last 12 European home matches (W8 D4), since a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid CF on 22 October 2014.

• 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 bidding 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 play-off aggregate victory over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, winning 2-1 away and 4-2 at home.

• Spartak have not won away in Europe since a 1-0 success at AFC Ajax in their 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg. Their record since reads D5 L5.

• Including that 1992 victory at Anfield, Spartak have won on four of their nine trips to England (D1 L4), most recently a 1-0 triumph at Blackburn Rovers FC in the 1995/96 group stage. Their away record since then is D1 L4; their last trip brought a 4-1 defeat at Chelsea FC in the 2010/11 group stage. 

• The Russian club are yet to win away in Group E, however, opening with a 1-1 draw at Maribor before a 2-1 reverse at Sevilla on matchday four.

• A 5-1 home win against Sevilla on matchday three halted Spartak’s nine-game run without a victory in European fixtures, home and away, since a 2-1 success over SL Benfica on 23 October 2012. Their record since then was D4 L5.

• This is Spartak’s 12th group stage campaign, and first since 2012/13 when they came fourth in a section also including FC Barcelona, Benfica and Celtic FC. They have not graced the last 16 since 2000/01, when they got to the second group stage.

• The Moscow club qualified automatically for the group stage by lifting their 22nd league title in 2016/17. Last term, their European campaign ended at the first hurdle, with defeat by AEK Larnaca FC in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

Coach and player links
• Klopp was in charge of the Borussia Dortmund team that beat FC Zenit 5-4 on aggregate in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (4-2 away, 1-2 home).

• James Milner’s goal helped Manchester City FC to a 2-2 draw at PFC CSKA Moskva in the 2014/15 group stage.

• Simon Mignolet was in goal for Belgium in a 3-3 friendly draw away to Russia in March 2017. Dmitri Kombarov, Denis Glushakov, Aleksandr Samedov and Roman Zobnin played for the hosts in Sochi.

• Emre Can was part of Germany’s victorious 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup squad in Russia.

• International team-mates:
Georginio Wijnaldum & Quincy Promes (Netherlands)
Dejan Lovren & Mario Pašalić (Croatia)
Marko Grujić & Marko Petković (Serbia)
Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino & Fernando, Luiz Adriano (Brazil)

• Petković and Grujić were also team-mates at FK Crvena zvezda between 2013 and 2016.

Source link