Bayern Munich vs Liverpool FC preview
After a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the first leg, Liverpool need a win or a draw (expect for 0-0) tonight at Allianz Arena to go through to the quarter final of the Champions League.
I think most of Liverpool's line-up picks itself for this match: Alisson in goal, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, and Robertson at the back (I think it's too early to put Lovren in alongside Van Dijk), Fabinho in midfield and Mane, Firmino and Salah up front. The only questions remains: who will play with Fabinho in midfield? For me, it will be Henderson and Wijnaldum. I know some people would like to see Shaqiri in there (or Keita, but he's unavailable due to injury), but I cannot see Bayern playing as defensively as in the first leg. That means it's gonna be a much more open game, where we will also sit deeper at times. Shaqiri has not been in favor lately, and we will need legs and defensive organisation in midfield, so I don't think he will start. Lallana or Milner are more realistic alternatives in mo opinion, but who would they replace? I'm very convinced that Henderson will start (he's our captain, and was rested against Burnley), so the only option would be Gini Wijnaldum. Gini hasn't played up to his best in the last few games and has looked slightly jaded, so it is possible that he won't be starting tonight. I see Milner as the most likely replacement, although Lallana did look good against Burnley.
LFC line-up prediction: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah.
As mentioned above, I think this will be a much more open game than the first leg, which will suit Liverpool. We should be fairly comfortable sitting deep and try to hit them on the counter attack, but I think we will try to take the game to them, especially in the early stages. Bayern have looked menacing in the Bundesliga after the first leg, so keeping another clean sheet will be a difficult task, but I also don't see them keeping us from scoring yet again. All in all I see Liverpool as slight favorites because Bayern did not get an away goal, but truly anything can happen in this one.
Score prediction: Bayern Munich 1 Liverpool 2