View from Genk: 'Berge the one to watch'
Liverpool host Genk at Anfield on Tuesday night as Jürgen Klopp's men seek to do a Champions League double over the Belgian side.
The European champions secured a 4-1 victory at the KRC Genk Arena a fortnight ago - so, can we expect a different approach from their opponents in the return match?
We caught up with Belgian football journalist Sven Claes, who covers Genk for Het Belang van Limburg, to find out....
What was the reaction like in Belgium after the first game?
Genk have played their best matches of the season so far at home in the Champions League - against Napoli and Liverpool. The fans were really proud. They kept fighting until the end and were even able to score a goal in the final minutes. The applause for ex-Genkie Divock Origi was wonderful.
What has Genk's form been like leading up to this second match?
Genk are really struggling in the league, they have gained only four points from their last three games. They played a very difficult second half against Cercle Brugge (1-0), a very late draw in the 96th minute against Antwerp FC (2-2) and a surprisingly loss against KAS Eupen (2-0).
Is this a must-win game for the Blauw-Wit?
No, totally not. They have nothing to lose in an away game in the Champions League. Like I said before the first game, any result would be a bonus. Also the players know they have to enjoy these games no matter what the result will be in the end - but hopefully there won't be a punishing scoreline against a struggling team.
Will manager Felice Mazzu go gung-ho?
Not at all. He will be judged more at the weekend - a defeat against AA Gent on Sunday would put him in a tricky position. Tonight against Liverpool, he and Genk have nothing to lose. De Genkies have to fully enjoy this game, nothing more. Without any pressure. The pressure will be on Sunday’s game, that's a must-win for Mazzu.
What has changed since Genk last faced Liverpool?
Mazzu is still searching for solutions. He’s still trying to build again a winning team - like last year - and one that can play with confidence. The patience from some sections of the fans is almost gone.
How do you think they will line up on Tuesday?
Finland international Jere Uronen is out for several weeks with an ankle injury, so Belgian Casper de Norre will start as left wing-back. I expect Mazzu will play again - like in the first match - with target man Paul Onuachu up front.
You chose Ally Samatta as the man to watch in the first meeting - what about for the return match?
This time I would pick Sander Berge, Genk's No.25. The Norwegian defensive midfielder is, at this moment, the best player at the club - very talented and a hot prospect. I expect him to shine in the Premier League one day.
Which Liverpool player do Genk fear the most?
In the first leg Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was really important, with two goals in crucial moments, but I can imagine the Genk defenders fear Roberto Firmino the most. Bobby's rabona in Genk was a lust of the eyes.
How do you expect the match to pan out at Anfield?
Genk have nothing to lose at Anfield but are currently playing with a lack of confidence so I still expect Liverpool to win this game easily, purely on individual class.