Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Red Star Belgrade v Liverpool FC

Grant SmithNov 06, 2018

Politics will keep Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri from making the trip to face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, almost five months after the Switzerland forward made a nationalist hand gesture while celebrating his winning goal against Serbia at the World Cup in June.

"We have to concentrate on football".

A hostile atmosphere is guaranteed - although not half as hostile as if Shaqiri had travelled - but Klopp is confident his players can cope.

Speaking ahead of the game, Klopp said he wanted to keep the focus on football for the tricky away tie.

"We came here as a football team, representing one of the biggest clubs in the world". That's why we're here, to play football.

Liverpool have left Swiss worldwide Xherdan Shaqiri out of the squad for Tuesday's Champions League tie at Red Star Belgrade, saying they were uncertain over what sort of reception he would receive in the Serbian capital. "We want to focus on that, that's all", said Klopp.

Red Star comes into the match following three straight victories in the Serbian SuperLiga, with the most recent victory coming on the road on Saturday at Proleter Novi Sad by a 2-0 scoreline. "Shaqiri will play a lot of games for us but not tomorrow".

"We are in Serbia, we respect that 100 per cent".

Jurgen Klopp's men need a result in Serbia in what is sizing up to be one of the tightest groups in the Champions League this year.

Red Star Belgrade have won two of their three games against Liverpool in European competition, however did lose the most recent meeting (0-4 at Anfield).

Dejan Lovren and Naby Keita have made the travelling party and the former is in line to start while the latter could get a few minutes off the bench in the second half.

Last season's runners-up are now top of Group C and one point clear of Napoli at the midway point of the group stage. They previously met on October 24, when Liverpool won 4-0 at Anfield.

Here's how to watch Red Star versus Liverpool online.

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