Playing Liverpool is perfect motivation for Maribor midfielder Aleks Pihler

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Maribor midfielder Aleks Pi hler believes the visit of Liverpool in the Champions League provides just the motivation they need to register their first win in Group E.

Having drawn their opener at home to Spartak Moscow and lost 3-0 at Sevilla the Slovenian side bottom of the table.

However, Pihler insists the arrival of the five-time European champions gives them extra incentive.

“We cannot wait for kick-off. We know who is coming to Ljudski vrt (Maribor’s stadium,” he told a pre-match press conference.

“Every victory is good for confidence but playing against Liverpool is motivation enough.”

Coach Darko Milanic, whose endured a disastrous 32-day spell in charge of Leeds three years ago, accepts his side face a tough task.

Maribor are unbeaten in eight European home fixtures – winning five – and have lost just three of their last 14 games, home and away, but they have not won any of their seven home matches in the Champions League group stage.

“It’s hard to speak of weaknesses in opponents like these,” he said.

“They can have problems when they lose the ball, that could be our opportunity, but they have quality and pace.

“We have to be persistent and patient. We need to fight fanatically, help each other, adapt.”

“We have a good record against English teams (they have won one and drawn two at home) so we can be optimistic.

“I hope this fact will give the players an extra lift on the field. Every little bit helps.”


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