Vi är halvvägs in i gruppspelet i Champions League och det betyder att matcherna blir mer och mer viktiga, kampen om att ta sig till nästa runda börjar på allvar. För Liverpools del är det dags för något som får ses som en måste-match, då Maribor kommer på besök till Anfield. Efter segern med 7-0 sist är det såklart bara seger som gäller även denna gång, men det är nog ett motståndarlag som vill återupprätta en viss heder efter genomklappningen i förra omgången. Luka N. Cvikl(@LukaNCvikl) berättar i omgångens Q&A om läget i klubben och hur han ser på de kommande omgångarna i CL:
1. What has happened at your club since we last met?
Nothing much happened really, the club played couple of games in domesting league and during the weekend beat Domzale away 1-0 in a tough match. But otherwise nothing much really happened football-wise.
2. How are your team doing in the league?
Maribor are currently joint top of the league with Olimpija 05 Ljubljana, which is good because in the past seasons when the club was playing either Europa League or the Champions league the results in domestic competitions suffered a bit and Maribor were struggling to win matched and cope with the tempo of playing Saturday-Tuesday/Wednesday-Saturday.
3. What are your thoughts on this Champions League-group halfway through? Which teams do you think will get to the next round?
We started the competition really well, playing good agains Spartak Moscow in the first game of the group, but then the performances were not as good in the 2nd and the last game against Sevilla and Liverpool. So there is still room for improvement and of course I think Maribor players will have a point to prove away at Liverpool this Wednesday. I think Sevilla and Liverpool should go through, even though anything can happen in football, this is why we love the game, right?
4. What went wrong for Maribor in the last game?
Ah the first pass towards our centre back was slow, Liverpool players picked it up and scored early – the worst thing that could’ve happened really. Liverpool came to Maribor after not getting the best results, struggling in the Premier League and of course they were hungry for the win and they wanted to score as many goals as possible.
5. What do you expect from your team on wednesday and how do you think you will line up?
I hope our players will put on a decent performance and will try to stay in the game for as long as possible. It’s tough to say how we’ll line up and who’ll play in the midfield – I just hope that we all learned something from the loss v Liverpool couple of weeks ago. The midfield was the biggest issue when we played Liverpool so I think our players need to hold the ball a bit more and not let Liverpool players to walk all over them and cause problems.
6. What are your thoughts on Liverpool this season?
Well since I do live in Manchester I follow the Premier league quite closely and I am not convinced with Liverpool so far. Last game against Huddersfield they managed to get a good result, but overall I think they’re struggling in the league. The back 4 at the moment are simply not good enough for a club like Liverpool and if they want to challenge for the top places in the coming seasons, they’ll have to do something about it.