Genk vs Liverpool betting tips: Champions League preview & predictions

Genk vs Liverpool prediction: Genk 0-4 Liverpool

Wednesday’s match will be the first meeting between these two sides in the history of European football.

Genk have an undefeated record at home against English sides in European competition. KFC Winterslag, as Genk were known prior to their merger with Waterschei Thor in 1988, welcomed Arsenal in 1981 in the UEFA Cup when it was still a two-legged knockout format. Their 1-0 home win saw them through on aggregate after a 2-1 defeat at Highbury.

Their first encounter with English opponents in the UEFA Champions League came in 2011/12 when they faced Andre Villa-Boas’ Chelsea in Group E. They were destroyed 5-0 at Stamford Bridge before holding them to a 1-1 draw in the return match in Genk.

While Liverpool have never faced Genk in Europe, they are historically very familiar Belgian opponents. They have an outstanding record of ten wins and just one loss in thirteen matches. Although, their record in Belgium isn’t as dominant, with three wins, two draws and a loss on Belgian soil, to Anderlecht.

The Reds haven’t faced a side from Belgium in over eleven years. Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool took on Standard Liege in the 2008/09 Champions League qualifying stage. They eventually won 1-0, on aggregate, in extra-time at Anfield thanks to Dirk Kuyt.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal with Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Genk vs Liverpool: Who will win?

Genk have won five of their last eight home matches in European competition, losing only once to Slavia Prague. Can they be the second side to inflict defeat in Belgium on Liverpool with a win here? They are huge 17/2 outsiders to do so.

The Smurf’s last Champions League match here ended in 0-0 draw with Napoli. Likewise, Liverpool’s last visit to Belgium in 2008 to face Standard Liege ended with the same 0-0 scoreline. Will we see another stalemate here? Odds of 5/1 are available if you believe so.

A win here for Liverpool, coupled with a draw in the other Group E fixture between Salzburg and Napoli, would see Liverpool top the group. Can they get back to winning ways after Sunday’s draw at Old Trafford? They are the 2/7 favourites to do so.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: Sadio Mane of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane on September 28, 2019 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Genk vs Liverpool: Who will score?

Mbwana Samatta is Genk’s top scorer in the Jupiler League with five goals in ten appearances. He also scored in the 6-2 defeat in Salzburg on matchday 1. However, he hasn’t scored since for the club in his last four appearances. The Tanzanian is 10/1 to open the scoring for Genk on Wednesday. Or 5/2 to score at any time.

With Mohamed Salah rated as a major doubt for Wednesday, the goalscoring burden looks set to fall on Sadio Mané (pictured above). The Senegal international scored in each of his last two appearances before the international break, against Salzburg and Leicester City. However, he drew a blank at the weekend against Manchester United. He is 10/3 to open the scoring for Liverpool on Wednesday. Or 4/6 to score at any time.

Following his game-changing cameo at the weekend, Naby Keita looks likely to start against Genk. The Guinean scored three goals in five games back in April before an injury early in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona ruled him out for the rest of the season. Could he score on his first start of the season for the Reds? He is 15/4 to get on the scoresheet. Or 14/1 to do so as the first goalscorer.

Genk vs Liverpool: Match preview

Liverpool travel to Genk trying to break the curse hanging over their European away-days. They have lost each of their last four away matches in the UEFA Champions League group stages.

In fact, the only group stage match they have won in the Champions League during Jürgen Klopp’s era was the 0-7 thrashing of NK Maribor in Slovenia back in October 2017.

Overall, their last eight European away-days have produced just two wins and six defeats. The defeats coming against AS Roma, Napoli twice, Red Star Belgrade, PSG and Barcelona. While they were victorious against FC Porto and Bayern Munich.

With Liverpool, it is very much a question of which version of the European Champions will show up on the night. The side that managed to thrash Barcelona 4-0 without Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino?

The Liverpool who won seventeen consecutive Premier League matches, scoring at least twice in all but one of the victories?

Or the side who laboured to defeat last season in Belgrade. The Reds who travelled to Old Trafford at the weekend and struggled for a point?

Genk vs Liverpool: A look at the Belgian Champions

The same could also be asked of this Genk side though. On matchday 1 of the group, they were torn to shreds by Salzburg, losing 6-2 on the night.

Yet just weeks later, they managed to hold Napoli to a 0-0 draw, here in Genk. It feels too simple to suggest the sole difference is down to playing at home. Especially as they were comfortably beaten here last season by Slavia Prague. Perhaps instead, they under-estimated Salzburg’s attacking play and approached the game too open?

Whereas against a known entity such as Napoli, they aimed to shut the game down. Set out for containment to reduce the match into a game of limited, low-quality chances.

This would be similar to the approach United took into the match against Liverpool at the weekend which earned them the point they wanted.

In that match, the Reds were guilty of just lumping the ball forward and then forcing it into the box all too often. They struggled to break down the low-block of Manchester United until Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain and particularly Naby Keita were introduced.

Players who are braver on the ball, not afraid of being pressed, and who looked to slow the approach play down to create space before upping the tempo to exploit it.

Klopp seemed all too aware in his post-match press conference where the problem lied. Assuming the lessons were learned from the weekend’s performance, with the right balance being achieved in his midfield selection here, it seems this will largely dictate whether Liverpool will open Genk up at will and run riot on them, or struggle to break another side down on their travels.

Genk team news vs Liverpool

Joakim Maehle

GENK, BELGIUM – NOVEMBER 08: Gary Medel of Besiktas and Joakim Maehle of KRC Genk battle for the ball as Ryan Babel of Besiktas looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group I match between KRC Genk and Besiktas at Cristal Arena on November 8, 2018 in Genk, Belgium. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Danny Vukovic looks likely to be Genk’s only absentee of the match. Their first choice keeper suffered an achilles tendon rupture. Gaetan Coucke looks set to continue in his absence in goal after his clean sheet against Napoli.

Club captain, Sébastien Dewaest, started at the weekend in place of Carlos Cuesta. Genk look likely to opt with experience over youth here despite Cuesta being involved in the 0-0 draw against Napoli.

Bryan Heynen also started at the weekend in place of the more defensive-minded Patrik Hrosovsky, as the only other change from the side who drew with Napoli. Hrosovsky looks likely to regain his place for this clash though, as Genk opt for a more defence-first look in midfield.

Predicted Genk team vs Liverpool

Predicted Genk team vs Liverpool

Predicted Genk team vs Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 09: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool after a missed chance during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Liverpool and Porto at Anfield on April 09, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Liverpool team news vs Genk

Only Nathaniel Clyne, who spent last season out on loan at Bournemouth, has been officially ruled out for Liverpool.

Mohamed Salah & Xheridan Shaqiri both missed the weekend trip to Old Trafford with ankle and calf injuries respectively. They are unlikely to be involved here. Salah, in particular, is likely to be given additional time to be 100% for the crucial match against Spurs at the weekend.

Joel Matip started at the weekend after missing the previous two games due to a minor injury. The big German didn’t look himself though and is likely to be rested here. Joe Gomez or Dejan Lovren being most likely to deputise.

Adam Lallana, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all gave a good account of themselves off the bench on Sunday. With Klopp likely to reshuffle his options here, the trio plus James Milner will all be hoping for a rare start.

Predicted Liverpool team vs Genk

Predicted Liverpool team vs Genk

Predicted Liverpool team vs Genk

The latest tweets from Genk pre-Liverpool

The latest tweets from Liverpool pre-Genk

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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