Sevilla winger Nolito has warned Liverpool to be ready to “suffer” when the two sides meet in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
Sevilla are second in the Group E standings, one point adrift of leaders Liverpool after four games played.
The Spanish club held Liverpool to a 2-2 draw when the two met in their group opener at Anfield on Sept. 13 and former Manchester City man Nolito believes his side can again make life difficult for Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Nolito, who scored the winner in Sevilla’s come-from-behind 2-1 La Liga win over Celta Vigo on Saturday, told Cadena Ser: “We have a huge game coming up. All the top teams are in the Champions League and Liverpool have a great side but so do we.
“Liverpool are Liverpool and I don’t know if they are going to win or lose against us but I can assure you they are going to suffer.”
Sevilla, fifth in La Liga and 12 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, have won just three games away from home this season in all competitions.
“We have a very good team and the best is yet to come,” Nolito said. “We struggled a little bit early on and we know we can play much better and we can score more goals.”
Under coach Eduardo Berizzo, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli in June, Sevilla remain unbeaten at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, where they will have plenty of support on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Sevilla president Jose Castro appealed to fans to come out in force when the club host Liverpool and supporters have not let him down.
Sevilla confirmed to ESPN FC that since last week there are no tickets available for the contest and that more than 40,000 spectators will attend Tuesday’s game, including 2,700 visiting fans.
Nolito, who has yet to score in the Champions League this season, is hoping to make the difference on Tuesday.
“I need to give my best and hopefully, score,” he said. “I just want to do better, score goals and make our fans happy.”
The 31-year-old has found the back of the net just three times in 15 appearances in all competitions since joining Sevilla on a three-year contract from City in July.
Nolito, who wanted to return to La Liga after making just nine Premier League starts for City following his €18 million transfer from Celta Vigo in 2016, believes it is only a matter of time before he hits his best form.
“I need to gain more confidence but I’m calm,” the Spain international said. “I’ve gone through a lot in my career and it’s a bit like having to start from zero after my time in England where I didn’t play much and then being two months on holiday. I’ve got confidence in me, I’ve always had. I know I can deliver.”
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.