After his first-choice side thumped Red Star 4-0 at Anfield last month, Jurgen Klopp handed three of his fringe players an opportunity to shine for the reverse tie in Belgrade.
Joel Matip, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana were given rare starts in order to prove their worth to their manager but none of the trio took advantage.
Lallana, drafted in to add creativity in midfield against a side who were expected to play on the back foot, produced a rusty, under par performance which is in stark contrast to the usual energy Klopp demands from his players.
If that was perhaps understandable given Lallana’s lack of gametime this season, it doesn’t bode well for his hopes of staying in the team when the Reds face Fulham this weekend.
That’s why fit-again Naby Keita, who was on the bench in midweek, must come into the midfield in place of Lallana against Slavisa Jokanovic’s rock-bottom side.
He has the quality to transform Liverpool’s midfield, and will hope to shrug off those injury problems and belatedly kickstart his Anfield career.
Klopp will be looking for a reaction from his side and Keita’s energy could be the driving force he needs.