Maribor and Liverpool in need of first win

Neither Maribor nor Liverpool have managed a victory in their first two Group E games, and both will be looking for three points in Slovenia to rise up the standings.

Maribor celebrate their matchday one goal
Maribor celebrate their matchday one goal ©AFP/Getty Images

After two frustrating draws in Group E, Liverpool FC are seeking to ignite their UEFA Champions League campaign with a trip to NK Maribor.

• Jürgen Klopp's side were held 2-2 at home by Sevilla FC on matchday one before a 1-1 draw at FC Spartak Moskva last time out.

• In what is these teams' first meeting, Maribor are also looking for a first Group E victory; they drew 1-1 with Spartak in their previous home game and went down 3-0 in Seville on matchday two.

Match background

Maribor
• Maribor have won just one of their eight previous matches against English clubs, beating a visiting Wigan Athletic FC 2-1 in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• The Slovenian side have lost only one of their four home games against Premier League visitors. In their only previous UEFA Champions League home match against an English club, they held Chelsea FC to a 1-1 draw in the 2014/15 group stage.

• Maribor's overall record against English teams is W1 D2 L5.

• Maribor are unbeaten in eight European home fixtures (W5 D3); in fact, they have lost just three of their last 14 games, home and away (W6 D5).

• However, Maribor have not won any of their seven home matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D3 L4).

• The Slovene outfit are in the group stage for a third time, having previously competed in 1999/2000 and 2014/15. In that latter group appearance they drew 1-1 at home to both Sporting Clube de Portugal and Chelsea, and lost 1-0 to FC Schalke 04.

• Maribor qualified for this season's UEFA Champions League by winning a sixth Slovenian title in seven seasons in 2016/17. In Europe last term, they beat PFC Levski Sofia and Aberdeen FC before losing to Gabala SC in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.

• Maribor reached the current group stage by overcoming HŠK Zrinjski of Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-2 on aggregate in the second qualifying round (2-1 away, 1-1 home) and Iceland's FH Hafnarfjördur in the next round (1-0 home, 1-0 away). In the play-offs they went down 2-1 at Hapoel Beer-Sheva FC in the first leg but progressed on away goals thanks to a 1-0 home success.

Liverpool
• Liverpool's only previous fixtures against Slovene opposition came in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup first round, when they drew 1-1 at NK Olimpija Ljubljana before a 3-0 victory at Anfield.

• Five-time European champions Liverpool did not take part in UEFA competition in 2016/17, when they finished fourth in the Premier League. They are aiming to reach the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2008/09.

• The Reds earned their place in the group stage – for a tenth time overall – with a 6-3 aggregate play-off victory over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, winning 2-1 away and 4-2 at home.

• Liverpool have won just two of their last 14 European away games (D7 L5). Before triumphing at Hoffenheim in their play-off first leg, their last away victory had been a 1-0 UEFA Europa League group stage win at FC Rubin Kazan on 5 November 2015.

Coach and player links
• Aljaž Cotman was at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC between 2010 and 2013, but left without making a senior first-team appearance.

Match facts

Maribor
• Including the final two games of last season, Maribor are 14 league matches unbeaten (W9 D5).

• Maribor have 28 points from 12 league fixtures this term, four more than they had at the same stage last term.

Liverpool
• Joe Gomez returns from a one-match European suspension.

• Liverpool have won only one of their last eight games in all competitions.

• Philippe Coutinho scored in three successive appearances for the Reds prior to Saturday's goalless draw with Manchester United FC.

• Coutinho and Sadio Mané are on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or. The winner will be announced in December.

• Emre Can (Germany), Jordan Henderson (England), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (England) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt) played during the international break as their teams qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

• Salah's added-time penalty – his second goal of the game – earned Egypt a 2-1 victory against Congo on 8 October, securing the north African nation their first World Cup finals participation since 1990.

• Mané sustained a hamstring injury playing for Senegal against Cape Verde on 7 October and could be out for up to six weeks.