Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Liverpool leave Shaqiri out due to political reasons

Liverpool leave Shaqiri out due to political reasons

"[He] understands this. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday".

When Red Star travelled to Anfield last month, Shaqiri was roundly jeered by the away fans, showing that his actions had certainly stayed fresh in the minds of some Serbians.

At the World Cup in Russian Federation, both Shaqiri and Switzerland team-mate Granit Xhaka celebrated goals against Serbia by using their hands to make a nationalist eagle symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said he was leaving the player out because of the likely hostile reception Shaqiri would receive in Belgrade. He doesn't need to worry about Shaqiri's safety and can concentrate exclusively on football matters. We tried to make sure we can be focused on football.

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But this home fixture for the 1991 European Cup champions sees Jurgen Klopp faced with making a decision on a potential flash-point in Xherdan Shaqiri.

Liverpool will be treat to an infamously toxic atmosphere in Belgrade on Tuesday. But we are not here for that, we are here for playing football. Walking down the tunnel we have to use that noise to our advantage'.

"It could have been a story but we didn't want to have a story besides a football story".

Alberto Moreno is pushing for a recall after being given a rare run-out against Cardiff City last week but I think it's safe to say Andrew Robertson will keep his place at left-back tomorrow night.

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"Champions Manchester City have raised the bar to such a high level that anyone with ambitions to finish ahead of them this season need to win every game to stay with them because they will not drop too many points over the course of this season".

Midfield: Naby Keita is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury that's kept him out of the last five games in all competitions and the Guinea global could be recalled in midfield if Klopp feels he's fully match fit.

"He's played in 69 games since the start of last season, more than any other player in the Premier League. It's very good that he's back, but what I do with it I haven't decided".

"We're facing a strong team, but we have prepared well and are ready to give our best", said Red Star coach Vladan Milojevic at his pre-match press conference.

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