The Merseyside club now travel to Russia for the reverse fixture and it could be tough going for the visitors against a team who are winning a lot this season, while Tottenham have yet to land a victory in the Europa League although that should change on Thursday when Maribor come to town.
Newcastle are making good progress and look the likeliest team to reach the last 32 of the competition, with Alan Pardew likely to field a reserve team for their match in Belgium.
Anzhi Makhachkala v Liverpool 17:00
Liverpool have a difficult week which involves a trip to the Dynamo Stadium on Thursday night before visiting Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Whether they can get anything from these games is open to question.
Brendan Rodgers’ team will probably go out of the Europa League if they lose this match and the one in Udinese, although a win against Anzhi and everything will look rosy, with the bookies offering odds of 4/1 (BetVictor free bets) about an away win.
It’s not a bad price when you consider Liverpool beat the same opponents at Anfield a fortnight ago, although it could be a different story in Russia where Guus Hiddink’s side are in the winning habit and they sit second in their domestic league after collecting 32 points from 14 matches.
When you consider that the Russian league is now highly competitive, this is no mean feat and they have won seven of eight matches at home which illustrates the size of Liverpool’s task, with Samuel Eto’o leading the line for this moneybags club.
The Cameroon striker is a 4/1 chance (William Hill bookmaker) to score the first goal of this game, while Luis Suarez is a 9/1 poke for the visitors although it might be that the Uruguayan is rested for this midweek trip ahead of Liverpool’s match against Chelsea.
Tottenham Hotspur v Maribor 20:05
The curious case of Tottenham Hotspur. At times, Spurs have looked bright and breezy under Andre Villas-Boas this season although the fact remains that they have yet to win a Europa League game in a relatively easy group, with the north London side having already bowed out of the League Cup and they were beaten at home by Wigan on Saturday.
AVB remains untroubled by comparisons to Harry Redknapp, although the manager could really do with a resounding victory at White Hart Lane and Tottenham are a best price 3/10 (Blue Square free bets) to beat their Slovenian opponents and set themselves up nicely for Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.
While a strong team has been fielded in this competition to date, it might be the case that fringe players can do a job against modest opposition and Emmanuel Adebayor will certainly be keen to score his first goals of the season, with the former Arsenal striker available at 4/1 (bet365) to break the deadlock against Maribor.
It’s not unforeseeable that Spurs will score a few goals on Thursday night as they bid to get that Wigan result out of their system and the home side are 5/6 (Paddy Power) to lead at half-time and full-time against a side that lost at Lazio in their other European away game this season.
Club Bruges v Newcastle United 18:00
Newcastle are faring the best out of the three English clubs in the Europa League and Alan Pardew will certainly be happy to make progress in this competition even if it’s likely to make their domestic form suffer as a result.
Two wins and a draw means the Magpies are sitting pretty in Group D and a win in Belgium would virtually ensure that they are into the last 32 although the manager won’t be taking too many chances with selection considering the north-east side face West Ham on Sunday ahead of two more home games.
The prices reflect the likely rotation, with 2/1 on offer about Newcastle with Sky Bet who make Bruges favourites for success and you can bet that the home side will want to win this game pretty badly and do their own qualification chances the power of good.
They beat Maritimo 2-0 in the previous game at the Jan Breydelstadion and Blue Square go 6/4 that they beat a United reserve team in this match, with Shola and Sammy Ameobi likely to be a brotherhood striking partnership for the visitors.