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Liverpool v Salzburg

Teenage sensation Haaland ready to lead Salzburg's 'mission impossible' against Liverpool

4:15 PM IST 01/10/19
Erling Braut Haaland Salzburg 2019-20
The Norwegian striker, who has been in prolific form this season, is fit and raring to go ahead of a Champions League encounter at Anfield

Red Bull Salzburg are ready to unleash teenage sensation Erling Haaland on Liverpool, with the in-form frontman set to lead a Champions League charge considered to be “mission impossible”.

Jesse Marsch has made that assessment when weighing up the size of the challenge facing his side in their latest European outing.

A trip to Anfield is certainly among the biggest tests to be found in continental competition, with Salzburg preparing to face the reigning champions in their own backyard.

While seeking to play down their chances ahead of a trip to Merseyside, Marsch is happy to see his cause boosted by the return of 19-year-old striker Haaland.

The Norwegian - with 17 goals in 12 appearances this season, including a hat-trick in a Group E opener against Genk – has shaken off an illness to come back into contention.

Salzburg boss Marsch told SiriusXM FC: "It was obviously a special night in Salzburg [against Genk]. But we've got a tougher test awaiting for us on Wednesday night, but we will be ready.

"We've had a really good start to the year and I said previously we had a young group with a lot of potential and that is still the case.

"In terms of Erling, the kid is an incredible talent, he can do almost anything. He is fit. He is fit for this weekend. So we just have to make a decision – is he ready to start from the beginning or do we bring him off the bench?

"But he’s had a long week, this week he’s been sick a little bit so we’ve had to manage that, but he’ll be ready to go."

If Haaland is handed a starting berth against Liverpool, then he will have an important role to play in a gameplan intended to make life slightly less difficult for the visitors to Merseyside.

Marsch added on the challenge facing his players and coaching team: "First of all, we have tried to create an incredibly clear gameplan so we know exactly how to play to our advantage and exactly the ways that Liverpool can punish us.

"The more that we are able to have concentration for 90 minutes and execute a matchplan that puts us in position to succeed, then we can at least give ourselves a chance.

"In the end, what I have tried to say to them is, honestly, I don't care what the result is. What I do want is we go there and play our football, that we are confident, that we are aggressive, that we go after the game and the opponent, that we don't worry about mistakes and that we just play with joy and with confidence, and clarity.

"If we do that then we will give ourselves a better chance of getting a result. Having said that, I think this in every way will be mission impossible! Who cares? Honestly, who cares?

"As long as we go there and play brave then we can walk out of there and be very proud.

"We will be smart, but our way to play defensive is to make sure we understand how to be aggressive in certain areas and we still play our version of football and calculate exactly how we want this game to be played."