Published: Mon, November 05, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Red Star Belgrade v Liverpool

Red Star Belgrade v Liverpool

Liverpool have left Swiss worldwide Xherdan Shaqiri out of the squad for Tuesday's Champions League tie at Red Star Belgrade, saying they were uncertain over what sort of reception he would receive in the Serbian capital.

The tensions date back to the Balkan War, where Serbian forces initiated a conflict against ethnic minorities across Yugoslavia; Shaqiri himself was born in Kosovo.

Red Star Belgrade have won two of their three games against Liverpool in European competition, however did lose the most recent meeting (0-4 at Anfield).

Liverpool are not concerned about the 27-year-old forward's safety but fear that his inclusion might fuel a hostile atmosphere that affects their...

Klopp isn't anxious about the safety of Shaqiri, rather he'd prefer to keep the narrative around football than politics.

Ahead of Liverpool's tie in the Serbian capital on Tuesday in Group C, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted the side have "no political message" going into the match.

He added: "A lot of times I have made decisions about a travelling squad and so far the players always accepted it".

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Goalkeeper: This is a must-win game for Liverpool so Klopp won't be taking any chances over his goalkeeper.

"We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions". Politics has always influence on life, on the planet I live at least, and that's how it is.

"We are in the group with teams that are fighting for the Champions League trophy". I realised already tonight [that] - I expected it differently - mostly the English-speaking journalists were asking about it, to be honest.

"So Liverpool omit Shaqiri from the trip to Belgrade tomorrow", he tweeted.

And the German knows the game won't be easy, saying: "It will be really tough and we have to be ready for that". "It could have been a story, but we didn't want to have a story besides a football story and that's why we decided what we decided". I'm sure we'll do that.

Therefore, Georginio Wijnaldum could be the man to make way against Red Star Belgrade while Jordan Henderson remains on the sidelines with a niggling hamstring problem that he picked up last month. If Sadio [Mane] is saying that [it inspires him] then he obviously believes it and that's good for me, and all the lads will be the exact same.

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