Liverpool host Bayern Munich in the first leg of a colossal Champions League round of 16 encounter at Anfield on Tuesday.
In what is a meeting between two of the most successful sides in the competition’s history, Liverpool will be looking to repeat last year’s feat of going all the way to the final, whilst Bayern will resume their quest to claim a first European crown since 2013.
Liverpool have returned home from their warm weather training camp in Marbella as they now turn their attention to their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night. 🇪🇸🔴— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) February 15, 2019
Liverpool head into the game in strong form, with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth keeping the Reds level with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. Meanwhile, Bayern maintained their quest to retain the Bundesliga title with a 2-3 victory over Augsburg last time out.
Jurgen Klopp’s side finished as runners-up to PSG in the group stage this term, whilst Bayern came out on top of Group E, before the two sides were paired together for what is arguably the pick of the ties in the last 16.
Check out 90min’s preview of everything you need to know ahead of Tuesday’s huge first leg on Merseyside.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Tuesday 19 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Anfield|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 2|
Liverpool will be without star defender Virgil van Dijk in what is a considerable blow to Jurgen Klopp's rear-guard setup ahead of Tuesday's game. The Dutchman is set to serve a suspension after receiving a yellow card in the Reds' previous Champions League outing against Napoli.
Joe Gomez continues his rehabilitation from a fractured leg after undergoing successful surgery, with the Englishman set to miss a further four to six weeks.
Virgil van Dijk will serve a one-game suspension in the first leg at Anfield. Joe Gomez is still absent for the foreseeable future having undergone further surgery on a fractured leg. 👆— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) February 12, 2019
Fellow defender Dejan Lovren is also a doubt for the European clash after the Croatian recently suffered a recurrence of an ongoing hamstring problem.
Meanwhile, long-term absentee Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains out after sustaining multiple knee ligament damage at the back end of last season, though there is hope that the midfielder may return before the end of the current campaign.
Bayern Munich have multiple injury concerns of their own, though wingers Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman are both set to overcome fitness issues in time to feature at Anfield.
However, Corentin Tolisso will miss out as the central midfielder continues to recover from a cruciate ligament rupture.
|Liverpool||Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Matip, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane|
|Bayern Munich||Neuer; Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Alaba; Goretzka, Alcantara, Rodriguez; Gnabry, Lewandowski, Coman|
Head to Head Record
Liverpool have a respectable record from their previous encounters with Bayern Munich, though the two sides have only met seven times previously, with the last clash between the two coming in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup.
Liverpool won 2-3 on that occasion, courtesy of goals from John Arne Riise, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen.
Bayern’s last win over their Premier League counterparts came in the 1971 UEFA European Cup Winners' Cup.
In all, Liverpool have won two and lost one of their seven previous meetings with Bayern, whilst the other four encounters ended in draws.
Liverpool are enjoying a strong run of form of late, having not lost since a 2-1 defeat away to Wolves saw Jurgen Klopp’s side eliminated from the FA Cup in January.
The Reds have won three and drawn two of their previous five outings since then, with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth last time out in the Premier League enabling them to keep pace at the top of the table alongside champions Manchester City.
Meanwhile, Bayern’s resurgence under Niko Kovac has continued in recent weeks. Three consecutive wins in all competitions have drawn the Bavarians closer to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, following a surprise defeat away to Bayer Leverkusen at the start of February.
Here is a look at how both sides have fared in their previous five outings:
Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth
|Augsburg 2-3 Bayern Munich
|West Ham 1-1 Liverpool
Bayern Munich 3-1 Schalke
Liverpool 1-1 Leicester
|Hertha Berlin 2-3 Bayern Munich
Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace
|Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Bayern Munich
|Brighton 0-1 Liverpool
Bayern Munich 4-1 VfB Stuttgart
History suggests that there is little to separate the two sides, and with both looking to go the distance in the Champions League this season, Tuesday’s match is set to be another close encounter between two highly competitive sides.
Both teams head into the clash in strong recent form and full of goals, with Anfield set to play host to a football spectacle of the highest order.
Sadio Mane on Jurgen Klopp: “All the boys love him and so do the fans. We are all improving and progressing under him. He is amazing for the club. I can see how my game has gone to an extra level with him and hope to keep working with him for many more years to come.”— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) February 15, 2019
Liverpool and Bayern both possess top quality in all areas of the pitch and, whilst there is likely to be goals, both sides could ultimately cancel each other out in the first leg of the tie, though any strikes for the visitors would hand them the advantage on away goals.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Bayern Munich