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Crvena zvezda v Liverpool facts

The emphatic home win against Crvena zvezda took Liverpool top of Group C and last season's runners-up seek a repeat in Serbia.

Sadio Mané (right) celebrates scoring Liverpool's fourth goal on matchday three
Sadio Mané (right) celebrates scoring Liverpool's fourth goal on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool went top of Group C with a resounding win against Crvena zvezda on matchday three and will be looking to consolidate at the top of the standings when they visit Belgrade.

• Mohamed Salah struck twice at Anfield on 24 October, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané also finding the net to inflict a second successive heavy away defeat in the UEFA Champions League on Crvena zvezda, who have conceded ten goals in their two away matches in the competition.

• The Reds are now top of the section on six points, one ahead of Napoli with Paris Saint-Germain a further point adrift. The Serbian debutants are on one point and will be eliminated if they lose and Napoli win at home to Paris in the other matchday four fixture.

Previous meetings
• Before matchday three, the only past contests between the sides – and Liverpool's only experience of Serbian opposition – had come in the second round of the 1973/74 European Cup, Crvena zvezda winning both legs 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals, where they would lose to Atlético Madrid. The Anfield result was Liverpool's first home loss in UEFA competition; the second did not follow for another 18 years.

Highlights: Liverpool 4-0 Crvena zvezda

Form guide
Crvena zvezda
• Crvena zvezda's first game in the UEFA Champions League proper ended in a goalless draw at home to Napoli on matchday one, but they were beaten 6-1 at Paris in their second fixture, equalling their biggest margin of defeat in European competition.

• Before matchday two, Crvena zvezda had lost only once in 14 European games; now they have suffered three defeats in their last 12 (W4 D5).

• The Belgrade club are seven European home matches unbeaten (W3 D4) since a 1-0 reverse against Arsenal in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage. That is their only defeat in their last 14 European home matches (W7 D6). They have conceded just five goals in those 14 fixtures – and never more than one in any game.

• Champions of Serbia in 2017/18, when they reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32, Crvena zvezda came through four qualifying rounds to reach the group stage – the first time they had successfully negotiated the UEFA Champions League preliminaries at the seventh attempt.

• Crvena zvezda kicked off this season in the first qualifying round, where they got the better of Latvia's Spartaks Jūrmala 2-0 on aggregate. Lithuania's Sūduva were beaten 5-0 over two legs in the second qualifying round, before extra time secured a 2-1 away win at Slovakia's Spartak Trnava in the third qualifying round second leg to complete a 3-2 aggregate victory. They came from 2-0 down to draw at Salzburg in the play-off second leg, going through on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

• That 1-0 defeat by Arsenal last season was Crvena zvezda's second in succession at home to English opposition, having been unbeaten in the first seven (W5 D2). They had won five in a row before losing 1-0 to Bolton in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.

• This is only the third season Serbia has had a team in the group stage, after Partizan's participations in 2003/04 and 2010/11.

• Crvena zvezda are one of three newcomers to the UEFA Champions League group stage this season, alongside Hoffenheim and Young Boys.

Salah delight at reaching Liverpool half century

• Having scored a last-gasp winner to defeat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 at home on matchday one, the tables were turned on Liverpool on matchday two, a 90th-minute Lorenzo Insigne strike earning Napoli a 1-0 success in Italy.

• Fourth in the Premier League in 2017/18, Liverpool are in the group stage for the second season running, having featured once in the previous seven.

• Liverpool scored an average of 3.15 goals per game in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.

• The five-time winners reached their eighth European Cup final in 2017/18, when they won four of their seven UEFA Champions League away matches (qualifying included), losing only one.

• The Napoli reverse was Liverpool's second successive away European defeat, although they have lost only three of their last 15 European away fixtures. The Reds have nevertheless won just five of their last 20 (D8 L7).

• The Reds have lost three of their last five European matches.

Links and trivia
• Xherdan Shaqiri scored the decisive goal in Switzerland's 2-1 defeat of Serbia in the group stage of this summer's FIFA World Cup.

• Have played in England:
Marko Marin (Chelsea 2012/13)
Vujadin Savić (Watford 2014/15)

Latest news

Crvena zvezda
• The defeat in Paris on matchday two ended Crvena zvezda's 34-match unbeaten run in all competitions (W26 D8), stretching back to the 1-0 loss at CSKA Moskva in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg, although they did lose on penalties in the Serbian Cup against Mačva on 14 March after a 0-0 draw.

• Crvena zvezda are 41 matches unbeaten in the Serbian Super League (W37 D4), since a 1-0 loss against Napredak on 1 October 2017.

• The Serbian champions won their first seven games in this season's Super League, making it 17 in a row, before being held 1-1 at Belgrade rivals Partizan on 23 September. They have won all seven matches since, including Saturday's 2-0 success at Proleter.

• El Fardou Ben Nabouhane scored nine goals in his first 11 matches for Crvena zvezda this season; Saturday's strike at Proleter was his first since 2 September.

• Richmond Boakye has five goals in four league appearances this season.

• Crvena zvezda captain Vujadin Savić had been out with a hamstring injury since matchday one before returning in Paris; he was replaced at half-time and was sidelined again until 28 October, although he was an unused substitute on matchday three.

• After winning their first six league games this season, the Reds drew with both Chelsea (1-1) and at home to champions Manchester City (0-0) on 7 October but won their next two matches before Saturday's 1-1 draw at Arsenal.

• James Milner put Liverpool in front at the Arsenal Stadium, his first goal in open play since 2 March 2016; the midfielder had subsequently scored ten penalties.

• Mohamed Salah had scored in three Liverpool matches running, four goals in total, before drawing a blank at the weekend.

• That winning run was the first time in the club's history they have kicked off a season with six league victories. Liverpool had not won six league matches in a row since a run of nine successive victories between February and April 2014.

• Having won their first seven matches in all competitions this season, the Reds were without a win in four (D2 L2) before a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield on 20 October; they won the next three before being held at Arsenal.

• Liverpool paid a world-record fee for a goalkeeper this summer to bring in Alisson from Roma – this was quickly eclipsed by Chelsea's signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

• Milner's nine assists in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League set a new competition record.

• Jordan Henderson was withdrawn at half-time at Huddersfield with a hamstring injury and has not played since.

• Naby Keïta has been out since suffering a hamstring injury on international duty with Guinea on 16 October.

• Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is unlikely to play this season after suffering a serious knee injury in last season's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma on 24 April.

*Subject to weekend updates