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Shaqiri omitted from Liverpool squad ahead of UCL clash in Belgrade

06 November 2018

In 1999, Serbia allowed for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation intervention to crack down on the Albanian population within the country, leading to unrest that still exists today due to Kosovo not being recognised as an independent state.

Like several of his fellow Switzerland internationals, Xherdan Shaqiri was born in Kosovo before his family had to leave his native country ahead of the Kosovan War, along with more than a million other people who were displaced due to the conflict. We tried to make sure we can be focused on football.

"It's not sad, it's the world, politics always has an influence on life".

"We are good, we are in a good moment as a team, as a club, everything is fine so that's it.", he said, as quoted by the Mirror.

"But we are not here for that, we are here to play football".

"It could have been a story but we didn't want to have a story besides a football story". Red Star have one point. We have to have to look at that a bit calmer.

"We need to cool the situation down".

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"This is a big event for Red Star, for Belgrade, for Serbia, and the whole region", he said in his pre-match press conference.

"We have to be strong tomorrow again football-wise".

Liverpool, meanwhile, face the tricky test of facing Red Star away from home (5.55pm) - with the Serbian champions having only lost one of their last 14 games at Marakana in Europe.

Dejan Lovren missed the 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Saturday evening with a knock but the Croatian global has travelled to Belgrade and could be recalled alongside Virgil van Dijk in the middle of defence.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino head into Liverpool's 200th European Cup/Champions League match closing in on Ian Rush's goal tally in the competition for the club.

He's proven this season that he can change games when given the chance, and a fixture against the weakest team in the group would give Klopp the chance to rest and rotate before the next round of Premier League fixtures.

Sadio Mane has scored 11 goals in his last 12 appearances for Liverpool in the Champions League, with the most recent of those coming against Red Star in a 4-0 win. Rotation will be important for the Reds this season and Lovren has impressed in the few games he had played so far this season.

Shaqiri omitted from Liverpool squad ahead of UCL clash in Belgrade