By Danny Wright
Former Manchester United and Everton defender Phil Neville believes that Liverpool will fail to win against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League group stages on Tuesday night.
Neville has predicted that the Reds will have to settle for a 1-1 draw with the reigning Russian champions when they come to blows at the Otkrytiye Arena.
Jurgen Klopp’s men earned a 2-2 draw with Sevilla in their group stage opener earlier this month and should Neville’s prediction come true it would see them take an early blow to their chances of qualifying for the knock-out rounds after earning two points from a possible six.
Liverpool have been in very inconsistent form as of late but a 3-2 win at Leicester on Saturday should give them a confidence boost before what is going to be an intimidating trip to the Russian capital.
Sadio Mane is available after being suspended for the weekend’s action and Neville makes no secret of what impact he could have against Spartak on Tuesday.
“Liverpool’s defensive struggle is something we’ve been talking about for 12 months, so I don’t know how they can rectify that with their current personnel,” said Neville on the Sky Sports website, in which he added his prediction.
“But what I would say is that they showed a lot of courage to beat Leicester and, while they’ll always concede, they’ve probably got a forward line to match anybody when they get Sadio Mane back.”
The other game in Group E on Tuesday sees Sevilla take on Slovenian whipping boys Maribor.
All the sides in Liverpool’s group are level on one point after drawing with one another on the opening day of the Champions League rounds this month.