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Liverpool boss Klopp ponders leaving Shaqiri at home for Red Star clash

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may leave Xherdan Shaqiri at home for their trip to Champions League rivals Red Star Belgrade.

Klopp is wary that Shaqiri's involvement could prove to be a distraction and crank up hostility levels among the 50,000 sell-out crowd inside the Rajko Mitić Stadium on Tuesday night, says the Liverpool Echo.

The Swiss attacker is bound to be targeted by Red Star fans who were enraged by his goal celebration against Serbia in the World Cup back in June and the fact that he wore the Kosovo flag on one of his boots.

Shaqiri's every touch was booed by the few hundred Red Star fans who defied UEFA's ban and managed to make it inside Anfield for the 4-0 defeat a fortnight ago.

Klopp has been weighing up whether to take Shaqiri to Serbia since the game at Anfield. His final decision won't be based on security fears but whether Liverpool would be better off avoiding an emotive political sideshow.

When the draw was made, Red Star general director Zvezdan Terzic claimed that Shaqiri would be under “unbelievable psychological pressure" if he played in Belgrade.

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Paul Vegas

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