Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Liverpool trip to Belgrade

Xherdan Shaqiri to miss Liverpool trip to Belgrade

In an attempts to "avoid any distractions" Xherdan Shaqiri's presence in Belgrade may inspire, Jurgen Klopp opted to leave the Swiss worldwide out of his Liverpool squad for this week's Champions League tie against Red Star. It's so important. Hendo is very close, I think he will train full when we are back.

Liverpool thumped Red Star 4-0 in the reverse fixture at Anfield two weeks ago but the tables were turned early on in Belgrade as the home side took control.

To add insult to injury, liverpool found themselves 2-0 down within half an hour when Crvena Zvezda striker Milan Pavkov scored a quick brace, netting the opener after 22 minutes and again seven minutes later to give his side the lead at half time.

Liverpool must now win their final two games against Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain, and Milner admitted the performance in Serbia was inexcusable.

"We made it too easy for them". They last played in the European Cup in 1991 as holders, when beating the likes of Liverpool would not have been regarded as such a surprise.

The 27-year-old, whose parents are Kosovar-Albanian, was born in the former Yugoslav city of Gjilan which is now part of Kosovo, a state Serbia still refuses to recognise despite its declaration of independence in 2008.

Almost three decades on, Red Star don't have a household name in their squad and needed to qualify for the group stage through the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Klopp also discussed his decision to leave Xherdan Shaqiri at home.

The visitors looked like they missed the controlling presence of the injured Jordan Henderson - someone to take hold of the ball and calm the game down.

Red Star have just a single point from this latest campaign and that came in their only home match so far in the group, a 0-0 stalemate with Napoli.

Klopp's men dominated possession but were largely restricted to efforts from range as Milan Borjan turned Mohamed Salah's shot wide before the Egyptian struck the outside of the post from the resulting corner.

"He's played in 69 games since the start of last season, more than any other player in the Premier League".

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