Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool face Bayern Munich on Tuesday in what is sure to be a thrilling last 16 Champions League encounter at Anfield. Despite their defensive problems and calibre of opposition, Maryam Naz explains the four reasons why the Reds will emerge victorious.
1) A lengthy rest
The Merseyside outfit has had a 10-day hiatus to work on tactics for this game. Historically the Reds haven’t fared well after extensive breaks away from the pitch, but Klopp’s side may benefit from having a few extra days to understand how best to execute a defensive setup. Given the absences of Virgil Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez, Fabinho looks to be the most likely understudy to play alongside Joel Matip. All in all, whoever plays alongside the 27-year-old, the 10-day break may be the perfect tonic for Liverpool to head into Tuesday’s game composed and prepared.Embed from Getty Images
2) A blistering counter-attack
Liverpool fans would have watched or heard about Bayern’s league encounter with Augsburg on Friday, given that the Die Roten conceded an own goal just 13 seconds into the game. Despite going on to win the game 3-2, thanks to the attacking prowess of Kingsley Coman, Kovac’s men showed an inability to handle a fast and furious start – a trademark of Liverpool’s ‘heavy metal’ style of play. The likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will look to emulate the Augsburg plan of action and further test Bayern’s shaky back four. Considering the trio’s ability to counter-attack at whim, Manuel Neuer’s defence could be in for a long night.Embed from Getty Images
3) Kingsley Coman’s absence
All teams chasing Champions League glory need a healthy dose of Lady Luck, and it seems that Klopp’s men have been given exactly that with the news that Bayern’s in-form winger Coman could miss this Tuesday’s clash. Indeed, the 21-year-old dazzled offensively in Friday’s game, helping his team cross the finish line with two goals and one assist. But the return of a troublesome left ankle injury means that there is a strong chance he will be sidelined for the first leg – music to the ears of Reds fans.Embed from Getty Images
4) The ‘Anfield effect’
Bigger clubs than Bayern Munich have written off the ‘Anfield effect’ before.
Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have all been undone by the electric atmosphere created by Liverpool’s 12th man: The Kop-faithful. Klopp has asked for Liverpool fans to arrive in masses and be as vocal as possible to spur the team to a crucial three points.
With the roar of the home supporters galvanizing Klopp’s men, together, the Reds players and fans could be on their way to cementing another historic Champions League win at Anfield.
You can follow Maryam on Twitter @MNaz98