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Champions League: Struggling Liverpool have task cut out; Barcelona hope to pile misery on Inter Milan

Liverpool

Bengaluru, October 4: Struggling Liverpool have their task cut out as they take on Rangers in an important UEFA Champions League tie at home while FC Barcelona will attempt to apply more pressure on Inter Milan boss Simone Inzaghi with a victory.

Liverpool are currently languishing ninth in the Premier League after just two wins from seven matches and are already 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.

The Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is staying patient, but knows the Champions League tie at home to Rangers has become a key game, with Liverpool having already lost once in Group A.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES | RESULTS | POINTS TABLE

Klopp said he had sought to reassure recent arrival Darwin Nunez that there were no worries about his contribution or form.

Liverpool signed the Uruguayan forward from Benfica in June for a fee that could rise to $98m, but goals have dried up after he scored two in his first two appearances.

Nunez's form is in stark contrast with that of Erling Haaland, who has made an incredible impact at Manchester City since arriving in the summer transfer window.

Klopp said Liverpool's coaching staff had held talks with 23-year-old Nunez.

"We just told him we're really calm," said Klopp. "It's really important in our situation that he isn't looking like he is worrying or whatever.

"The team is not flying and that makes it not easier for a striker, especially not for a finisher."

Scheduling woes

Scheduling woes

Klopp has pointed out that it has been difficult to establish momentum due to interruptions in Liverpool's schedule - two of the club's matches were postponed after Queen Elizabeth II's death last month.

The team bounced back from a humiliating 1-4 defeat in Napoli in their Champions League opener to beat Ajax with a last-gasp winner but then went nearly three weeks without a game. The compact schedule this season, made tighter by the looming Qatar 2022 World Cup adds an extra headache.

Inter vs Barcelona

Inter vs Barcelona

Elsewhere, Barcelona moved top of La Liga last weekend and Xavi's side will start their third Group C game level on points with out-of-sorts Inter Milan after losing 0-2 to leaders Bayern Munich last month.

Inter and Barcelona have plenty in common after two Group C games -- both sides have beaten Plzen and lost 0-2 to Bayern. If Julian Nagelsmann's charges continue their winning streak, then these back-to-back encounters may define both teams' campaigns.

Club Brugge vs Atleti

Club Brugge vs Atleti

Carl Hoefkens' Belgian champions have made an extraordinary start in Group B -- two wins, no goals conceded. The 4-0 victory in rainy Porto on Matchday 2 gave Club Brugge their first ever consecutive wins in this competition.

But if Atletico Madrid are daunting opponents, the hosts can take comfort from the fact that Los Colchoneros have yet to beat the Belgian side in three games in Bruges.

Bayern vs Plzen

Bayern vs Plzen

Bayern followed up their Matchday 1 success at the San Siro with a 2-0 defeat of Barcelona in front of a 75,000-strong crowd, a record for the German giants in Europe.

Ominously, Bayern won both of their previous home games against Viktoria Plzen by five-goal margins and the Bavarian giants would be expected to maintain their 100 per cent record.

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Story first published: Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 13:06 [IST]
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