Salzburg v Liverpool facts
There is all to play for at the Stadion Salzburg as Salzburg welcome holders Liverpool with each looking to progress from Group E.
• Liverpool lead the section on ten points, one ahead of Napoli with Salzburg third on seven points. That means the Premier League leaders will go through if they avoid defeat, or if Napoli lose at home to bottom side Genk; Salzburg – who have never beaten English opposition – will be through if they beat Liverpool and Napoli do not beat Genk. If Napoli win, Salzburg must beat Liverpool by a better scoreline than the 4-3 by which they lost against them on Matchday 2.
• That game at Anfield on 2 October was the clubs’ first meeting, and Liverpool’s first match against an Austrian club for more than 15 years, and initially looked like being a one-sided affair as goals from former Salzburg forward Sadio Mané (9), Andy Robertson (25) and Mohamed Salah (36) put the home side in charge. Hee-Chan Hwang (39) reduced the Salzburg deficit before half-time, however, and 15 minutes into the second half the visitors were back on terms thanks to Takumi Minamino (56) and Erling Braut Haaland (60), only for Salah to score what proved to be the decisive goal in the 69th minute.
• Salzburg kicked off with a 6-2 win against Genk on Matchday 1, scoring five goals in the first half – only the seventh team to do so in the UEFA Champions League. Haaland’s three goals made him the eighth player to score a UEFA Champions League debut hat-trick, and the first to do so in the first half. Aged 19 years 58 days, the Norwegian is the third youngest player to score a UEFA Champions League hat-trick, behind Raúl González (18 years 113 days) and Wayne Rooney (18 years 340 days).
• Haaland was also on target in the 4-3 defeat at Anfield, adding three more against Napoli (2-3 home, 1-1 away) and another in the 4-1 success at Genk on Matchday 5 to make it eight goals in this season’s competition, two behind top scorer Robert Lewandowski of Bayern München.
• Salzburg have registered 16 goals in their first five group games – only Group B qualifiers Bayern München (21) and Tottenham Hotspur (17) have scored more.
• The Austrian club won a sixth successive Bundesliga title in 2018/19 – their 13th overall – adding the Austrian Cup to complete a domestic double for the sixth time, all since 2011/12. As Austrian champions, Salzburg qualified automatically for the group stage.
• Salzburg’s sole previous UEFA Champions League group stage appearance came in 1994/95, their European Cup debut, when they finished third in a group involving eventual winners Ajax, a Milan side who went on to lose to the Dutch club in the final, and AEK Athens. With two points then awarded for a win, Salzburg picked up five from their six matches, a 3-1 victory away to AEK their sole success.
• Of Salzburg’s seven consecutive eliminations in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds between 2012/13 and 2018/19, three took place in the play-offs, including last season’s defeat against Crvena zvezda (0-0 a, 2-2 h).
• The Austrian club therefore moved into the UEFA Europa League, a competition in which they had reached the semi-finals in 2017/18, and won all six of their group games for the third time – a competition record – to head a section including Celtic, Leipzig and Rosenborg. Marco Rose’s side then beat Belgium’s Club Brugge in the round of 32 (1-2 a, 4-0 h), before bowing out against Napoli (0-3 a, 3-1 h).
• Salzburg were unbeaten in 19 European home games, winning 15, until the defeat by Napoli on Matchday 4.
• The Austrian club have never beaten Premier League opposition, home and away, in five previous attempts (D1 L4), losing the last four matches. At home they drew 2-2 against Blackburn Rovers in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup first round first leg (2-4 aggregate) before a 2-0 defeat against Manchester City in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Liverpool have recorded a win and a loss on the road in this season’s group stage, opening their defence of the trophy with a 2-0 defeat at Napoli before a 4-1 success at Genk on Matchday 3. They have picked up seven points at home, defeating Salzburg and Genk (2-1), but drawing 1-1 at Anfield against Napoli on Matchday 5.
• Victory at Genk ended a run of four successive away group stage defeats for Liverpool, whose previous away win at this stage of the UEFA Champions League had come via a 7-0 success at Maribor on Matchday 3 of the 2017/18 edition. They have won only two of their last 11 group matches away from Anfield (D3 L6).
• Jürgen Klopp’s team lost all three away games in last season’s group stage, but were rescued by three wins at Anfield as they edged out Napoli on goal difference. They then beat Bayern München 3-1 away in the second leg of their round of 16 tie, going through by the same aggregate score, before ousting Porto 6-1 over two legs in the quarter-finals (2-0 h, 4-1 a). The journey looked to be over when the Reds went down 3-0 at Barcelona in the semi-final first leg, but two goals apiece from Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi sealed a rousing second-leg turnaround, before Salah and Origi secured the club’s sixth European Cup with a 2-0 final defeat of Tottenham in Madrid.
• Liverpool have won seven of their last 11 European fixtures (D2 L1) but have lost seven of their last 12 UEFA competition matches outside England.
• The Reds have, however, never lost in Austria, where their record is W2 D1. The last two such games have finished 2-0 in their favour, most recently in the third qualifying round of their victorious 2004/05 UEFA Champions League campaign when two Steve Gerrard goals earned a 2-0 success at Grazer AK in the first leg of a tie Liverpool went on to win 2-1 on aggregate.
• Premier League runners-up in 2018/19, finishing a single point behind Manchester City, Liverpool are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 12th time; they have only failed to progress to the last 16 on three occasions.
• Liverpool have already claimed European silverware this term, beating Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul.
Links and trivia
• Mané was a Salzburg player between 2012 and 2014, scoring 31 goals in 63 league games and winning the Austrian league and cup double in 2013/14.
• Naby Keïta was in the Salzburg team that won back-to-back Austrian doubles in 2014/15 and 2015/16, and was named Austrian Bundesliga player of the year in his second and final season at the club.
• Salzburg assistant coach René Aufhauser was in the GAK side that won 1-0 at Anfield in 2004, the first time an Austrian side had triumphed in England.
• Patrick Farkas was sent off in Austria’s 4-0 defeat by an England side including substitute Jordan Henderson in an Under-21 friendly in March 2013.
• Wijnaldum scored in the Netherlands’ 2-0 friendly victory against Zlatko Junuzović’s Austria in 2016.
• Roberto Firmino got the winner as Brazil beat Junuzović and Austria 2-1 in a 2014 friendly.