Bayern vs Liverpool preview: Jurgen Klopp returns to Germany to face former foe
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Last Updated: 14/03/19 7:50am
Jurgen Klopp returns to Germany to take on his former foe as Liverpool travel to Bayern Munich for the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.
Bayern snatched several of Klopp's Borussia Dortmund players during his time in Germany, and also broke Dortmund hearts in the 2013 Champions League final, even if Klopp managed to top Bayern to win back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Klopp's latest clash with Bayern is a tough one, with Liverpool having been held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg at Anfield, but by shutting out Bayern, they know an away goal means Bayern would then have to score twice to progress to the last eight.
However, Liverpool's record away from home in Europe is far from impressive this season, having lost all three of their group stage away games, including to Red Star Belgrade. In fact, Liverpool's only goal in their three away Champions League games this season was a James Milner penalty against Paris Saint-Germain.
Since the Anfield leg, Bayern have won three in a row, scoring 12 goals in the process, to move back to the top of the Bundesliga, and are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the eighth consecutive season, last failing at the round of 16 stage in 2010/11 against Inter Milan.
Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita did not travel with the 21-man squad which flew out to Germany. The Guinea international missed out with a minor injury which forced him to remain on Merseyside.
Defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was taken off as a precaution during Sunday's win against Burnley, and midfielder James Milner, who missed that match with a muscle problem, were both included in the travelling party.
Hosts Bayern Munich are without suspended duo Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller, while Arjen Robben (calf) and Corentin Tolisso (knee) are also missing.
Left-back David Alaba and midfielder Kingsley Coman are available after recovering from recent injuries, while Bayern are expected to deploy James Rodriguez in an attacking midfield role.
- 68 per cent of teams to have drawn 0-0 away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie have ended up progressing to the next round (21 out of 31).
- Bayern Munich have won only one of their eight matches in European competition against Liverpool (D5 L2), that came in the Cup Winners' Cup back in November 1971 with two goals from Gerd Muller and one from Uli Hoeness in a 3-1 win in Munich.
- Liverpool and Bayern Munich's only previous encounter in the European Cup/Champions League before this season came in the 1980/81 semis. Liverpool progressed on away goals (1-1 on aggregate) - they would go on to beat Real Madrid in the final (1-0).
- Bayern Munich have only failed to score once in their last 26 Champions League home games, that was against Sevilla in last season's quarter-finals (0-0).
- Liverpool have lost their last four away games in the Champions League (3 goals for, 9 against) - they have never lost five in a row in European competition.
- Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has scored 23 goals in his last 22 Champions League games at the Allianz Arena, including nine in 10 knockout games.
It's another big test for Liverpool. Van Dijk missed the first one, so if people are putting him right in there as the best defender in the world layer of the Year by a distance then this is the game for him to step up. He is a Rolls Royce footballer this and that, but Bayern have returned to top of the Bundesliga and are playing with a swagger so this one will be difficult.
I think Liverpool will score but have to give the front three as quick a service as possible. It may have to be counter-attack football and Liverpool are at their best when they play like that. With the tie being balanced, Liverpool will play on counter-attack and I have a decent feeling about this.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1, Firmino to send Liverpool through (45/1 with Sky Bet)