Bayern Munich vs Liverpool – Winner takes all!

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool during the Pre-Season Friendly between Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool at Ewood Park on July 19, 2018 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

Image: Lynne Cameron via Getty Images

Team News

Liverpool will be without midfielder Naby Keita ahead of their second leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League’s last-16 after picking up a minor injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to feature after being taken off against Burnley as a precaution. James Milner may also come back from a muscle problem however it is highly unlikely we will see the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the side after he picked up a slight hamstring problem in his first game back since April 2018 against Derby for the Liverpool U23’s despite Jurgen Klopp playing down any injury fears.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich will be without suspended pair Joshua Kimmich and forward Thomas Muller, who were both on the scoresheet in the 6-0 home win against Wolfsburg at the weekend, but James Rodriguez is thought to continue in his attacking midfield role once again.

Virgil Van Dijk returns to the side ahead of the second leg (Image: Lynne Cameron via Getty Images)

Preview

The first leg ended as a stalemate, so a win for either team will take them through to the quarterfinals. A draw consisting of an away goal will be enough for Liverpool.

Liverpool have struggled for consistency recently, they haven’t scored a goal in their last two away games and Jurgen Klopp will want his front three firing on Wednesday night to give them any chance of getting past a stubborn Bayern defense. Only one of the past 33 shots attempted in the Champions League by the Liverpool trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane has found the back of the net. The Germans have been ruthless since the first leg, scoring 12 goals and conceding a single goal at Gladbach.

Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah has admitted he is willing “to sacrifice” his dream of winning a European trophy in order to bring Liverpool fans and the club their first league trophy in 29 years.

Virgil Van Dijk returns to the Champions League side after sitting out of the first game through suspension and Bayern boss Niko Kovac believes his opposition will be “even stronger”, acknowledging their phenomenal resilience this season at the back. The Croatian will want his side to be more efficient in the final third after his forwards failed to test Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker in the game at Anfield.


Mohamed Salah of Liverpool with Manuel Neuer of FC Bayern Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match (Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The Bayern captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who will make his 100th Champions League appearance on Wednesday, was asked about how his team would go about tactically in order to stop the prowess of Liverpool’s attack.

“Liverpool will be attacking us and I think we have to be well positioned on the pitch and we have to show a great defensive performance but I don’t think this will be a defensive match like at Anfield,” he said.

“We had a tactical plan to build up from the back and the positioning with the six players around me in the last match.”

“For me, before the Liverpool match it wasn’t a surprise to get the ball that much but we will see how high Liverpool press us tomorrow.”

“If I’m used in this position then I will show myself and want the ball.”

“In general, we saw it in Liverpool that they are one of the strongest teams in counter but I think we did a good job to not let them play like this.”

“On corners and free-kicks, for example, we need the right players behind and always having a numerical advantage to not let them play but it will depend on how we react to goals in the game.”

“We want to take the lead obviously.”

“I don’t think we are more confident because Mo Salah has scored only once in eight matches because they attack altogether and it doesn’t matter who scores in the end so we have to take care of all their players, Van Dijk for example in set pieces.”

Final Say…

Bayern Munich will need to put their poor record of 1 win in 8 against Liverpool across European competitions behind them tomorrow to reach 8 Champions League quarter-finals in a row.

Liverpool have lost their past 4 European away games (3 goals for, 9 goals against) – They have never lost 5 in a row in Europe.

The draw for the quarter-final will commence on Friday afternoon.

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